We wanted to meet the representatives of the local councils and to find out what is happening regarding the rift between the Palestinian and the Israeli DCO, owing to which the farmers do not succeed in renewing the passage permits to their lands. In a conversation with A’, we were told that it was preferable to wait about a week until the councils would reorganize, after the elections which took place last Saturday. In the meantime the situation is difficult and they asked us to let the things be known, in order to cause the new decrees be uplifted, or rather the old decrees not be implemented.
11:30 At the entrance to Azzun there was a military vehicle, and soldiers with drawn weapons on both sides of the road. When we approached the soldiers who stood to the left of the road crossed over to the right, and we did not succeed to take a photo. In the middle of the main road, near the entrance, there were two tires. Near one of them, there were burn signs. The small town was teeming with life as usual, cars and trucks and many people. After a short visit we continued to Falamiya. On the way to the agricultural checkpoints we lingered for a conversation and clarification of the situation with M.
We were happy to learn, that a great part of his lands was now accessible, after the separation fence had been moved westwards (following a High Court of Justice decree). However, in the seamline zone there remained a plot of 140 dunams which belongs to his elderly mother, who is unable to work, while he himself doesn’t get a permit to process it. He too asked us to reach influential persons and decision makers regarding the deterioration in the accordance of permits, owing to which the rift occurred.
12:50 The Falamiya North CP is tightly closed (should have been opened at 12:45).
A man in a big car of a public office, is waiting for his son and his father who are returning from the plot in which they grow Za’ater. Since January they have been endeavouring to renew their permits – and only a week ago did they get them, after having tried again and again to submit the requests to the Israeli DCO. One day they were lucky and the DCO received them. In the meantime the lands remained for more than three months, without care or irrigation.
The soldiers arrive in a big military vehicle and open the gate. The passage is very slow, one by one, about 8 tractors mostly with carts, some loaded, mainly with Za’ater sacks, some not. Over twenty farmers on foot, who then mount the tractors and the carts.
13:15 We continue to Falamiya South (935)
A young man with electric bicyles, who works at the Eyal passage and is now trying to reach his hothouses, is waiting to cross over. He isn’t sure whether they will let him pass with the bicycles. More people and vehicles arrive. There is a woman who, it seems, brings food for her family members, and who will later get a hike on one of the tractors.
The soldiers arrive and open the gate quickly. The electrical bicyles are bound to the fence behind the container where people are waiting to cross over. A few tractors loaded with people or agricultural produce return from work. We again hear complaints about the delay in the renewal of the permits.
On the way back a surprise awaited us. Before the ascent to Jiyus there was a rolling CP. Military vehicles, armed soldiers, spikes on half of the road. All the cars, in both directions, are stopped for a superficial check, mainly of the drivers. We were asked from where we came. The answer: “from Tel Aviv” satisfied them.
This too was the answer we gave to the soldiers who stopped us at the exit from Azzun to road 55.