Apologies for the sparse, or should I say non-existent updates during the last week. ITT, or independent travel time is the time after an OG trip when people split up, get lost, spend more than they expected on hostels or find amazing homestay situations. My ITT has been a mix of a rocky start in Tel Aviv, followed by great times with friends and meaningful exploration of the West Bank, staying in Qalandia and Ramallah.
I made it to Jenine, where we met with Canaan and the Palestinian Fair Trade Association, who together help organize Palestinian farmers in the cooperative production, sale and distribution of high quality organic, fair trade olive oil. In Toronto you can purchase this olive oil at Beit Zatoun.
In Hebron I met Waqf officers outside the Abraham mosque, who explained the tense relation between the Islamic security and the IDF, and the history of the partition of the mosque after the Goldstein massacre in 1994, when a jewish extremist opened fire on worshippers and killed 28 inside the mosque, 70 outside, and injured 700 more. We got a tour by some kids of the occupation of Hebron, showing the different areas and the ways the settlers attack Palestinians in an effort to get them to leave. One of the kids had two baby brothers killed in an attack in which settlers with the protection /cooperation of the IDF threw a molotov cocktail into a room in his house, setting the confined space ablaze.
I have other stories, but time is short. I will write later.