Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Jubara (Kafriat), Mon 8.8.11, Morning
07:00 Agricultural checkpoint, Habla
The gate opened on time.
07:05 The first group of 5 exits the inspection.
07:20 Twenty workers have gone through up to now. The inspection is slow and there are a lot of arguments in the line.
07:25 We leave.
07:30 Eliyahu checkpoint. There are a few workers plus a few vehicles waiting to enter Israel.
07:50 Agricultural checkpoint, Falamya. The sheep owner fromJayyus arrives on a donkey and enters quickly. A tractor with a container of weed killer is inspected and goes through. The soldiers relate that at 05:15 this morning, when they came to open the gate, there were already people waiting in line. Altogether about 25-30 people go through in the morning and for the rest of the day there are just a few. It seems to us, and the soldiers agree, that there are slightly fewer people because of Ramadan.
08:05 We leave the checkpoint and travel on the new wide road that leads to Tulkarm, pass next to the entrance to Kfar Aras and meet up with a flying checkpoint where the Aras checkpoint used to be.
08:25 The soldiers make random checks on the cars arriving from the direction of Aras and turning down in the direction of Tulkarm, as well as the cars coming from Tulkarm. The drivers stop before they arrive and wait for the usual hand gesture which seems to be handed down generation after generation...a random inspection of their documents and sometimes the baggage compartment. Taxis arrive which let the passengers out who then walk on foot from the intersection to the Jubara checkpoint (the Flower Gate), which is today the only entrance to Jubara. We see cars parked outside the checkpoint and also within Jubara, near the checkpoint. From the village there is taxi service which costs 3 NIS.
08:50 We return by way of Jayyus and 'Azzun to highway #55.
09:15 Nebi Elias. We arranged a meeting with Jelal, the village head, in order to hear what is new in the village since we were there for a series of talks a few months ago. We also wanted to see if we could rely upon the letter from the legal advisor concerning the village of Maschah, about the lands of the residents which were between the security fence and Alfei Menashe. The conversation took place in the sewing workshop of the village head and later we went to the municipality in order to show our guest how the village is stuck between the settlements of Tzofim and Alfei Menashe, how Area C surround the village and there is no possibility left to build even a goat fold. We found out that one cannot present requests for permits for the harvest until after Ramadan. We agreed with them that they should give us copies of the lists of those requesting permits so we can track what happens to them. The difficult problem caused by lack of direct entrance from the village to the fields which are under Alfei Menashe has not been solved and this prevents many people who even have permits from working their land and harvesting their trees. Does anyone have an idea of how to help? In the area bordering the settlement Tzofim, where they moved the fence, the ruling of the High Court has not been carried out which said that the army must return the land to its former state and now it is now usable as agricultural land. But, there is also good news! They received a permit to build a new school, a very modern one, on public land which belongs to the village. The plans have been approved and they also received a large donation for the building. Jelal hopes that building will start soon. They also received a permit and funding for a water tower which will bring the water up from the water tank of Mekorot which is beneath the houses of the village. We agreed to meet again after Ramadan.