'Azzun, Falamiya, Jayyus
The shifting of the separation fence westward in the Jiyus area facilitated the movements of the lucky farmers whose lands lie east of the fence, and now they don't need any permit in order to reach them. On the other hand, the life of those whose lands remained west of the fence was made more difficult. In the past, the Palamia gate was open throughout the whole day, and the farmers could enter and leave as they wished. Now, after the fence has been shifted and the gate was cancelled, those whose lands lie west of the fence are dependent not only on permits, but also on the limited opening hours of the gates as well.
There is no military presence at the entrance.
On the road from Jiyus to Palamia there are preparations for the paving of a new road.
Gate 914 Palamia (north)
We arrived at the gate 5 minutes before the opening. According to the farmers the gates are opened on time. But they complain about two hardships:
1.The roads within the agricultural areas are defective and the tractors get damaged. They would like to repair the roads but this is made impossible.
2. There are two complains regarding the opening times of the gate: first, the pressure in the morning is great and they can’t pass through, and second, if somebody has to enter just in order to open a valve he cannot return and is obliged to wait for hours until the next opening of the gate. Therefore, the request that the gate be opened for an hour instead of for 40 minutes.
12:35 The soldiers arrive on time and open the gate (the opening hour is 12.45). At the exit a soldier and a military policeman check permits, the farmer stands outside at a distance and military policemen check the details.
The strategy for overcoming the shortage of time – the za'ater season is in full swing and mainly trucks loaded with za'ater enter. Young men who do not have permits wait at the exit gate, in order to unload the za'ater and to load it on a truck that arrives at the gate from the other side. Thus the truck can unload the Za'ater and return to the field before the gate is shut.
13:20 Gate 935 Jiyus Palamia
The gate is opened on time. Few vehicle come from the Seam Zone to the Palestinian area. A Beduin who live in the Seam Zone near Zofin (and has a permit to live in his house) enters the Seam Zone in order to return home and reach the plot belonging to his family, opposite Palamia.
The traffic is scarce and the soldiers have a good time in the pleasant winter sun.
13:40 We left for Azun.
The entrance is open, and there is no military presence. We went to Z., and brought him equipment for the shop. He invited us to his humble house to drink tasty tea with sage. We heard that he had an appointment with a specialist doctor in Jerusalem (with the assistance of our dear friend Zvia) and that there was a chance that the doctor could help him. We wished him success and then left.
At the exit from Azun there were military and military police vehicles, checking outgoing cars and identifications. They questioned us too and tried to find out what we were doing there.
To sum up, it seems that the Palestinians have already given up all hope for freedom of movement and livelihood, they make do with modest requirements, which could alleviate a bit their basic existence. Will these hopes at least materialize?