'Azzun, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Kufr Jammal

Observers: 
Alex W., and Karin L. (reporting). Hanna K. translating
18/02/2015
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Afternoon

The aim was to reach Palamiya north at 12:30, then to the new Palamiya south gate and to finish at Habla and to see whether the agricultural gatesinfo-icon are opened on time and to hear what the farmers who pass through them have to say.

 

11:40 Eliyahu crossing. Few cars pass westwards without hindrance. There are no cars which are being checked.

 

11:50 Azzun. A short visit to Z. with bags full of children's clothes. Z. is, as usual, glad to see us. His shop look today like at shoe shop. The collective closureinfo-icon which had been imposed on Azoun as a collective punishment due to their demonstration on Saturday, has been lifted a day before. It's years since they ask to be allowed to drive by the road leading eastwards, which had once been the main road connecting Azoun and the surrounding villages on the way to Nablus. The road had been physically blocked, but recently a fence with a gate has been installed there. However, the gate is not opened. They receive no response to their appeals and so they went to demonstrate – the army arrive, stones were thrown, the town has been closed. The familiar and anticipated chronicle.

 

12:15 Kafr Jamal. We stopped to a moment at Z.'s shop and tarried. The pass, which was valid for two years, from September 2014, of one of his sons, who daily passes through the Palamiya agricultural gate in the morning and returns in the evening, was taken from him on the preceding evening. He was summoned to the Kilkilya DCO but when he was there in the morning they didn't want to talk to him, didn't explain anything and he returned as he came. We tried to find out what he was expected to do. After she got his details Sylvia was directed to the center for the protection of the individual and to the Palestinian DCO and said she would find out on Sunday. At the center they told him that they could help his father but not him…????

 

We began driving in the direction of Palamiya and the gate, but a phone call from Micky made us return to the shop. We tried finding out at the operations room why he was not received, they shall find out…Micky also gave some advice and instructions and asked that he call her in the morning from the DCO Kilkilya so that she would be able to understand what was happening.The arbitrariness of the army's behavior, the repeated harrassement of the Palestinian farmer, without any reason, and the defenselessness of the young man against the strong and alien body are not new, but every time this causes outrage. This also was not a case of (not) closing a circle, as according to M. they always register them in the morning, never at night!!!

 

12:55. It was too late for Palamiya north so we decided, because of the rain and the slosh to drive on the main road to Palamiya south, but after a short drive on the gravel road on which there was a lot of mud and deep puddles we decided to give up, as the last part of the road leading to Palamiya south, was even worse.

 

13:30 Habla. Lately there were considerable delays in the opening of the gates, but not this time, according to the persons we asked.

 

 The gates were wide open, a big tractor skirted a big truck full of construction waste, in the direction of Habla. The minibus with the girls passed (and also managed to return before the CP was closed). The soldiers stood near the other gate. One of them conducted a long telephone conversation, probably concerning the truck with the construction waste. Naturally the driver was not allowed to pass with it. We tried to find out from the driver whether he had intended to unload it at a regulated site on the West Bank, he replied impatiently that he didn't know. He also wasn't able to answer the question where he usually discharges such cargo. In the end a solution was found: He made a U turn on the system road, drove a few meters, discharged all of the construction waste on the side of the road, approximately opposiste A.'s plant nursery, and quickly returned. He namaged to pass in the direction of Habla before the closure. During the time we were there a few cars and one person on a bicycle passed.