Falamiya North Checkpoint (914), Falamiya South Checkpoint (935)
We left Tel Aviv at three o’clock for the afternoon shift, aiming to reach the Sal’it CP which isn’t opened at noon. Owing to an unexpected congestion on the roads we arrived at the region of the turning to the checkpoint a few moments before closing time (16:30). A big tractor with a cart appeared from the steep road and the driver stopped at our request, confirmed that this was the way and thought we could drive there in our car. Until I found a place for a U turn, the gate was already closed, the steep descent frightened us a little and we decided to return another time, earlier. We found out later that at this checkpoint mainly workers with work-permits pass, to work at Sal’it or the factories in the neighbourhood, so that there is no need to open the gate at noon.
We drove to the Falamiya North CP.
16:45 One tractor was already waiting beyond the fence. Cars arrived to collect the farmers who return from the fields. Z. from Kafr Jam’al returned as well, his three sons now work at his plots.
The signpost on which, a long time ago, who does still remember this, were written the number of the gate and the opening hours, still hangs on the gate
The fearful yellow arm, always half open
17:05 The soldiers who arrived a few minutes before open the gate (5 minutes before the scheduled time). The tractors (nearly 10) pass one by one. Old acquaintances stop to exchange a few words with us. After short checks many young men pass (a few dozens). They mount on the tractors and the waiting cars and hurry home after a long and exhausting workday. 11 hours (the opening time in the morning is around 6 o’clock) in the fields! They complain about this, ask that the gate be opened one hour earlier. The army does not comply. For people who don’t know the situation at the seam zone (and who are not indifferent to the sufferings of others) it is difficult to grasp that there are farmers who cannot get to their plots at any time they wish to and return immediately after their work is finished.
On the way to the Falamiya South/Jayus West CP one is again able to wonder at the abundance of the different crops in beautiful sites delimited by stone walls and sometimes fences. All these crops which it was impossible to grow and look after when the fence separated the farmers from their lands. This is a clear proof that the army’s claim that the gates at the separation obstacle enable good agriculture is simply not true.
17:40 The soldiers open the gate on time. About six tractors and a not great number of farmers on foot, pass. Some of the persons on the tractor, including women, look aged and exhausted after a long and hot working day, on their way back to Jayus.