Habla, Kufr Thulth
Kafr Thult and Habla agricultural gates,
12:30 Thult checkpoint. It’s open in the afternoon for one hour, 12:30-13:30, for farmers to access their lands in the seam zone and for those who went to their lands in the morning and are now returning. There’s no line, people are inspected and go through.
Some farmers we spoke to near the pumping station supplying water to groves in the seam zone asked for the checkpoint to remain open continuously for four hours during the day because they have fruit which must be transported immediately after it’s picked, za’atar which must stay fresh, etc. They’d submitted a request via the Palestinian Authority but said there’s no willingness to make the change.
They said sometimes the gates open late. We left a contact number in case of problems with the gates opening and refusal of permits.
13:15 Habla gate. No particular problems. The previous army unit was replaced and the new soldiers send people through quickly. One of the farmers crossing noted that these soldiers are very good. He particularly praises N., the officer. She’s very good.
But the banality of the occupation manifests itself this time as well.
A farmer wants to cross with his donkey cart, in which he has an old plastic cupboard someone had discarded by the side of the road. It measures 1.5 x 0.6 x 0.4 meters. The officer patiently explains he requires a permit. He tells her it’s for clothes in the field, but she patiently and pleasantly repeats that he can’t just bring it through, even a cabinet no one wants, without a permit.
That’s the law of occupation – we tried to phone the DCL but the farmer gave up, made a U-turn and threw the cabinet back where he found it. There’s no point making a request…he didn’t even get angry…
And the officer, like the other soldiers, who really tried not to make it harder on Palestinians at the checkpoint, while adhering to regulations…didn’t think it was possible to show flexibility.
What can you do. A law is a law. An order is an order. A rule is a rule. The banality of an occupation that isn’t cruel, but which says all that’s necessary.
Another day of occupation…