We discovered that one mustn't despair. When one arrives at a CP which is supposed to be open, and one waits enough time, there is a chance that is would be opened.
The opening hours change constantly and the Palestinians get used to that.
Falamiya South CP – the new gate no. 935
We arrive at 13:00. According to the list we received the gate is supposed to be open between 13:00 to 14:00. The gate however is shut and there is nobody around. We phone the operations room of the DCO. They promise to check and to get back to us. They don't. We phone Tzafa and to another officer but get no answer (is the change of the opening hours of the CP due to the Ramadan?)
We decide to wait. After 13:30 a tractor laden with manure arrives. Four people descend from it. Three farmers from Jiyus who set out to their fields, and one man who talks a bit of Hebrew, who is returning to his village – the northern Arb A-Ramadin, which is situated in the seamline zone. He told us about the problems which his little children and the children of his brothers encounter in crossing the CP, although they are registered in the ID cards of their father, but no individual permit had been issued for them. The matter wasn't clear, we shall contact Petahya. They know that the gate is supposed to be opened at 13:40 for 40 minutes.
Palestinian farmers waiting for the opening of the gate
At 13:40 – two military vehicles arrive. About 7 soldiers and one military policeman get out, more farmers and tractors arrive. We try to find out whether, according to the Palestinians, they open Falamiya north first. They answer that this isn't a fact, it is another sector, they are in charge of Kikilya, gate 1212 (where is that?) and this gate 935. To our question what the opening hours are they answer 13:40, for how long? 20 minutes. When were the opening hours changed? Answer: the opening hours are changed all the time. How do the Palestinians know? They are being told.
The passage is quick enough. Within 5 minutes the first tractor, with 5 farmers, leaves, and, immediately after, another tractor laden with manure enters. The Palestinians from Jiyus are all young. Their ID cards are checked by the military policewoman, and people pass from both sides. Two additional tractors leave.
And then the young men from the Taoz unit remember to deal with the Machsom Watch women. Not again… I've had enough with two events of endless delays without reason. The story is well known: You have no right to be here today, you have no right to travel between the villages, go up on the perimeter road. What? Now we have the right to drive on the perimeter road? Are we considered Army personnel? You got it mixed up!
Both of us run to the car, fleeing, Karen starts the car and onwards… We left the guys bewildered and confused. An argument started amongst them whether or not we are allowed to drive on the perimeter road. We solved the problem for them.
On the way back to Azoun we see a new kind of agriculture. When lands were returned to the Palestinians, they removed the stones, fenced the plots in, and planted crops which before, when the plots were beyond the fence, they had no chance of growing.
We drove to our friend in Azoun to deliver parcels to him. We were invited to his house. We brought his young son joy with the toys we gave him.