Visit to Nabi Elias and Seneriya, 12.8.13
Translator: Charles K.
Nabi Elias: We met with K, who had been the head of the Thult municipality and is today an advisor to various villages, including Nabi Elias, regarding administrative matters, the seam zone, etc.
We told him that, unfortunately, we weren’t able to convince ‘Adel, who’s in charge of DCO Efrayim, Qalqilya and Tulkarm, to open an additional agricultural gate for people from Nabi Elias to make it easier for them to harvest their olives and transport the harvest to the village. As we’ve already reported, ‘Adel’s excuse was a lack of military manpower, and that it’s not possible to open a gate in the fence wherever someone wants one.
We also asked whether anyone on the list of persons blacklisted for security reasons which we’d submitted two months ago had been dealt with in any manner – received a permit or had a hearing. K. said no one had received a permit after a hearing; he sounded very skeptical about the future.
We agreed to try again and send the list to the head of the DCO, along with the municipality’s phone number, and ask him to do what he’d promised, to respond and summon to a hearing those desiring to appeal the refusal to permit them access to their lands. We’ll follow up the outcome of the hearings.
Seneriya: We visited the Asheikh family. Their story begins in the 1980’s when attempts were made with the help of collaborators living in Tayibeh to force A., the head of the family, to sell his land located within the boundary of the Oranit settlement. Later, after he’d refused to sell, there was an attempt to kidnap the father from his land, with the help of collaborators who offered him a ride and tried to force him to sign the document. When they weren’t successful the plaintiffs – “Delta-Karney Shomron Company” – submitted what it claimed was a bill of sale, and since then the family has been represented by Fadi and Wiyam Shvita’s law office, which is apparently being paid by the Palestinian Authority, claiming that the document is a forgery.
On 6.1.12 the military court confirmed the document was a forgery, but the company appealed and the case is still open in the appeals court.
Their situation has become worse since the fence was erected in 2003 because it’s cut them off from their lands and they need permits to access them. They’ve been having difficulty getting to their land in the settlement of Oranit which was established on Palestinian land. During the 2012 harvest A. had a permit to reach the seam zone but to get to his land he had to go through the entrance gate to Oranit, but they didn’t let him in. He coordinated an escort with the army, but on the appointed day, when he arrived with his wife and sons, it turned out that the Nabuani, the DCO officer, hadn’t arranged his entry and military escort, and refused him access to his land. He was chased away.
I’d already raised this issue last year with ‘Adel, the head of the Efrayim DCO. He said A. wasn’t allowed to enter because “it wasn’t clear” who owned the lands in question, but ordered Nabuani to return to the disputed area. A. wasn’t invited, only his cousin, who was told that the land belongs to the cousin, not to A – despite all the Tabu documents that had been sent to the DCO coordinating office. A. said that last December the military court determined the bill of sale was a forgery. I’d asked him to stay in touch with us, but since he hadn’t called we assumed that the matter had been solved. Unfortunately, we were mistaken.
So this year we’ll again try to deal with the matter, see whether we can help at all, when it’s clear that the settlers’ influence over the regime’s actions is much greater than ours, much less the Palestinians’.