Danger! Construction! Expanding the Elkana and Etz Efraim settlements, or perhaps erecting a new one?
“Danger. Construction” announced a sign greeting us beside Hani gate in the Elkana salient. It appears that the engineers who, a few months earlier, had promised/threatened to erect four more settlements between here and Saniriyya, are fulfilling their vow. Meskha’s olive groves have vanished from the area due to extensive infrastructure work for the settlements.
After explaining about the seam zone and the fence we drove to Oranit. At the junction, next to the right turn toward the gate, was a vehicle with police officers who later came to the checkpoint to ask what we’re doing there. I replied that I’m explaining about the fence. We continued north.
11:45 We stopped at Habla for more explanations. Soldiers in a military auto ignored us.
North via Alfei Menashe, stopping for a view, and via ‘Azzun and Jayous to the Falamiya North checkpoint (914). There were a few vehicles on either side of the gate. A Palestinian famer who wanted to bring iron bars to erect a greenhouse was desperately trying to contact the Palestinian liaison office and the DCL. He’s trying to convince them he’s not using the material for terrorist activities nor does he intend the sell it in Israel for less than he paid. He disconnected the tractor from the wagon it was pulling and will return when he’s been able to coordinate the crossing. He didn’t fear anyone would steal the merchandise.
The soldiers opened the gates just before 13:00. About twenty young men crossed; they’d returned from working in the fields and got into a car that awaited them and the wagons pulled by tractors after they’d gone through the checkpoint. At 13:05 everyone had gone through and the female soldiers closed the gate.
We met the soldiers 15 minutes later at Falamiya south. A few vehicles and farmers also crossed there in each direction. We spoke to some of them; they hoped for better days.
We returned to Jayous along the former security road and saw a number of roads had been paved to the east.
Before exiting through the Eliyahu checkpoint we passed the Tzofim checkpoint and the entrance to Qalqilya.