Falamiya North Checkpoint (914), Jayyus, Jayyus north 965, Nabi Ilyas
The sad routine of occupation. The olive harvest is very poor because of insect damage to the inflorescence in May.
10:15 Nabi Ilyas municipality. The municipal secretary told us the olive harvest is very poor this year in the Qalqilya and Jayous region. A harmful fly active in the area when the humidity is high attacked the inflorescence in May and caused the blossoms to fall from the trees. The farmers concluded the harvest in four days, and the municipality received no complaints from farmers that permits weren’t granted to family members, apparently because there was no need for extra hands for the harvest in the seam zone. He says the Palestinian Authority is getting organized to deal with the fly next year. It will apparently provide pesticides to the farmers or consider obtaining permission to spray the groves from the air. They’re still awaiting a response. He complained again that farmers with permits are required to detour 4 kilometers to checkpoint 109, Eliyahu crossing, and return an additional 4 kilometers to their lands located just beyond the fence beside the village.
11:30 Jayuus municipality. The municipal secretary told us that now residents submit applications via the Palestinian liaison office. She also reported on the poor olive harvest because of the insect pest, and said that may be why they didn’t receive complaints about permits.
In the village we met a family who’d applied a month ago for permits, as they do each year, for the wife and children but still haven’t received a response. She also noted that while they would have been happy to go to the family’s lands, there was no particular need to do so because there was no fruit on the trees.
12:20 Falamya agricultural checkpoint (914). The man in charge of the pump tells us he’s currently collecting the monthly water use charge from the farmers for irrigation of guavas, oranges, mandarins, za’atar, pumpkins, etc. in the seam zone. He transfers the funds to the Palestinian Authority after deducting his salary and the cost of the electricity and other maintenance expenses.
He also referred to the poor harvest, which is why only 100-150 permit holders cross each morning, unlike a normal year when at least 250 farmers cross every morning.
12:45 The gates of checkpoint 914 open on time. Two MPs oversee the checkpoint while a third inspects permits. Two tractors and about ten farmers, including children, crossed to the seam zone. Three tractors and 15 farmers returned from the fields. An elderly farmer showed us his harvest – no more than 20-30 olives…
The MPs closed the checkpoint at 13:10. Three men who arrived in a car at 13:10 and wanted to cross were refused because the MPs said they were late, even though, according to our list, the checkpoint was supposed to close at 13:15. We were already on our way to the next checkpoint and couldn’t help, because we knew we wouldn’t be able to complain in time to the situation room of the Qalqilya DCL.
13:25 Jayyus north checkpoint (935). MPs opened it on time. We asked why they had closed five minutes early. The MP explained they’re instructed to close five minutes early in order to arrive on time to the next agricultural checkpoint, and the Palestinians know that. Here too, 2 tractors and seven farmers crossed to the seam zone. On of the farmers brought two sacks of fodder for sheep grazing in the seam zone. A cart returning from the seam zone was loaded with about 15 cartons of citrus and guavas. The soldiers hurried to close the checkpoint at 13:20.
13:55 Jayyus seasonal agricultural checkpoint (965). It opened on time. Only one farmer on a bicycle crossed to the seam zone. No one crossed in the opposite direction. The checkpoint is open for only ten minutes, until 14:05.
We didn’t drive to the Jayyus south checkpoint (1012) because we wouldn’t have arrived while it was open from 14:15 to 14:25.
The occupation routine, plus the insect pests in the Qalqilya/Tulkarm region – this year there will be a shortage of olive oil, and its price will soar…