Meeting with head of Regional Council of seven villages

Observers: 
Yael S., Keren (permanent Machsom Watch guest), Amira (reporting) Translator: Charles K.
16/01/2012
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Morning

 

We went to talk to the head of the regional council covering 7 villages:  Falama, Kafr Jamal, Kafr Zibad, Abush, Kafr Sir, A-Ras.

 

We met Muhammad Khadr, the council director.  He raised two issues:

  • The seasonal gate at Falama is always closed.  We drove there; dill and thistles are growing wild in front of the gate.

It was also like this during the harvest season.  As a result, ten farmers weren’t allowed to reach their lands and harvest their olives.  Muhammad gave us the name of one of the blacklisted farmers (it turns out that Rony had been in touch with him and reported what she had learned about why he’d been blacklisted).  He said that they’d contacted the DCO, which didn’t help.

 

  • As of yesterday, the residents of the villages of Sir and a-Ras were told to contact the Qalqilya DCO to arrange for permits, instead of going to Tulkarm.  That’s harder for them, particularly for those without a car, because there’s no transportation to Qalqilya from the villages (which are closer to Tulkarm).  So they have to take a taxi to Nablus, and go from there to Qalqilya.

 

We drove to the Falama agricultural gatesinfo-icon:  the seasonal gate and the agricultural gate which is open all day.  The soldiers treated the farmers well.  The fragrance of za’ater filled the air.  It’s for export.  Orange groves laden with fruit; guava trees shedding their leaves;  greenhouses;  groundsels and anemones springing up, dotting the hillsides.  Glorious almond trees in Samaria.

 

Everything as usual – the boring occupation - at the Habla gate.  The children’s bus hadn’t crossed.  The children on the West Bank are on break for exams until the day after tomorrow.