Kufr Thulth, Masha, Thu 30.8.12, Morning
Meeting with the heads of the Masha and Kafr Thulth villages
Translator: Charles K.
We decided again this year to examine the issue of permits for the agricultural gates and the Palestinians’ freedom of movement in the seam zone before and after the olive harvest.
In Maskha we learned that they hadn’t yet applied for permits because they were waiting to be contacted by the Palestinian DCO, which sounded very strange to us because the olive harvest begins around mid-October. We asked the head of the village to look into the matter with the DCO. In addition to improvements and additional easings at the crossings, and expectations for a much better year, he reports a sharp decline in the price of olive oil as a result of olive oil imports from Spain and Turkey.
Nidal, the head of the village, is a journalist by profession and fills the post voluntarily. He’s a pleasant man; it was interesting that he told us he doesn’t intend to run for reelection but wants to address the issue of the handicapped population on the West Bank and their treatment. He’s seeking funding and advisory groups; if anyone reading this report has an idea, please contact Miki.
Tedesa called us when we were on our way to Kafr Thulth, asking us to look into the issue of access roads in the seam zone and problems with them. We promised to let people know. If anyone knows about a problem on a specific road, inform Tedesa; he’s prepared to listen and act.
When we met 'Aadel from the Qalqiliya DCO a few months ago he raised the possibility of changing the permit application procedure. The change would consolidate all the applications to a given plot of land under the owner’s, to which additional applications would be attached. That should make it more efficient to deal with the permits and keep Palestinians from having to go back and forth and waste time. He was cautious at that meeting, saying that it was still only an idea.
Kafr Thulth 11:00
Hussein, the head of the village, begins by complaining about some ten people who had submitted applications about three months ago and hadn’t yet heard. And then he tells us that this week they contacted the Palestinian DCO and received new application forms, which consolidate all requests under that of the owner. We saw the example of the form and our eyes brightened: the improved, more efficient procedure that A’adel mentioned is being implemented. Hussein assumes that some 300 applications will be submitted for the olive harvest, and even though he’s more pessimistic than his predecessor he’s determined to fill out the new forms and carry out the procedure in an organized and controlled manner. He also had complaints about the refusal to issue permits for vehicles and tractors to use the agricultural roads; we promised to speak with Tedesa.
At the conclusion of the meeting we asked him to call Nidal and hurry him up regarding applications for permits, and were again pleased to hear that Nidal called the DCO after we’d left and had also received the new instructions and appropriate forms.
We also met and talked with the principal of the local school, and were impressed by the new plotter they’d bought to print maps and plans.