'Azzun, Eliyahu Crossing, Falamiya, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Jayyus, Jubara (Kafriat), Wed 15.6.11, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
New fences and spirals of razor wire stretch along the roadsides, imprisoning the groves, but there’s also a change for the better – in Area B, between villages, new roads are being paved by the Palestinian Authority, financed by donor countries, replacing those that were dilapidated.
15:00 At the entrance to Eliyahu crossing a strip of red plastic ribbon directs people to a single narrow lane. Vehicles are inspected; those carrying goods are turned back, perhaps to Irtach/Efraim gate.
The settlement of Zufin north of Route 55 is expanding, becoming denser.
Starting at the western entrance to Azzun olive trees are imprisoned between two fences, one next to the road, the other, of concertina wire, on village land. In other words, even the owners of the groves remaining on village land aren’t able to work them whenever they choose.
15:40 We reach Jayyous. We didn’t stop at the agricultural gate which, as you know, doesn’t open in the afternoon. We drove to Na’im’s house, bringing many goods for his second-hand shop. Na’im came out wearing his white house clothes, softly urging us to stay for a meal. We declined politely, not wanting to burden them. Na’im told us how surprised he was that the additional Falamiya gate is closed completely, forcing the farmers (those lucky enough to have permits) to drive 3-4 kilometers in order to reach the fields that adjoin their homes. We parted from Na’im and his wife and continued toward Irtach.
16:00 There are no farmers at Falamiya gate, which is manned by three soldiers at their post and some others, one of them female, bored at the inspection station.
We drove via the villageof Falamiyato Kafr Zibad. The road is being widened. A pretty wide road which will apparently connect Tulkarm and Azzun. Palestinian Authority signs by the roadside, with information about the initiative and the donor nations.
We bought some things in the grocery at Kafr Tsur and continued on an excellent road down to A-Ras. A very comfortable ride, compared to the dilapidated road we remember. The rest of the road to what had been the A-Ras checkpoint is also being paved.
There’s a red sign at the eastern exit from Jubara, announcing that we’re entering Area A. But the villages are Area B (cf. photograph, sent separately).
We continued under Route 557, on the road where Palestinians used to get stopped at the A-Ras checkpoint. We came out on the other side of the exit from Tulkarm, waited on line with those leaving Tulkarm and came out through the checkpoint, slightly west of the Te’anim crossing. While waiting we looked toward Jubara. A new road is being paved on the western side of the village. Will it be a patrol road after Jubara’s status changes? (cf. photograph, sent separately).
17:00 Irtach/Efrayim gate– Many laborers get out of the vehicles that transported them and are swallowed up into the crossing, without entering the facility.