'Izbet alTabib, Falamiya, Jayyus
12:00 We stopped to visit the owner of the grocery in Kafr Jamal. It’s quiet lately. Very little business. But they’re surviving – their daughter is studying Business Administration at the Open University. The father is building a house on the edge of the village for two sons who can marry next year.
13:00-13:30 Falamya checkpoint. The checkpoint opened on time. Five tractors with 15 farmers went through to the seam zone. Four tractors and 12 people come through the other way. They say they’re now plowing and carrying out seasonal work, and harvesting za’atar. They say there weren’t any problems crossing during the past few weeks.
13:30 We couldn’t reach the Jayous south checkpoint via the shortcut because it was muddy. We tried to use the detour via Jayous but it took time to find the alternate route and we didn’t manage to arrive while the checkpoint was open, 13:45-14:15.
We visited a family in Jayous who told us that although relatives of their who were landowners wanted to volunteer to help them on the family’s land, the Palestinian DCL refuses to grant permits, claiming that only the landowners themselves or their heirs are entitled to request permits.
We also visited ‘Izbet Tabib to find out what was going on. There, also, M. told us he’s unable to obtain an agricultural permit to work on someone else’s land in the seam zone who needs workers. M. also said that the Palestinian DCL refuses to accept requests from landowners for workers – he says the Israeli DCL has ordered permits be issued only to landowners or their heirs.
I asked one of the Civil Administration’s legal advisors in Beit El about this. He said he didn’t think there was such an order, and in practice any landowner or heir who isn’t able themselves to work their land for various reasons is allowed to request replacement workers, according to the land’s area and the crop. He promised to investigate and reply soon. We haven’t yet managed to contact him to hear the answer.
He also said that the regulations can be found on the Civil Administration’s website.
For a month and a half efforts have been made to get the seasonal gates open for the plowing season. A promise was made they’d open on 20.2.17, but the opening was delayed. The farmer who’d made the request complained about having been notified at the last minute and about the urgent work he has to do, which keeps being delayed. I contacted the DCL infrastructure officer and was told the Palestinian DCL requested the gates’ opening be delayed one week, to 26.2.17, because the ground is muddy. They didn’t explain the reason to their farmers, and apparently didn’t consult with them, or with at least some of them.
Occupation and its annoying bureaucracy…in microcosm…on the Israeli side as well as the Palestinian side.