We arranged with S. from Fara'un, at his request, to meet the villagers whose applications for permits to work on their land had been refused.
Below is a list of complaints and general requests (in addition to the problems of the persons who came to the meeting). Out of the total area of the village -about 8000 dunams, 4000 are situated "inside the Fence", i.e. - separated from their owners' residences. To some of them be reached by way of CP 746.
1. The CP of Fara'un (708) through which dozens of farmers pass, is opened only three times a week, and only twice a day. They would like it to be opened on those days at noon too, as it had been in the past, so that those who work shorter hours would not be forced to remain in their fields all day.
2. There is no water in the fields south of the village and the Separation Fence. In the past there was a pipe which brought water from Taibe to these plots, but is had been disconnected during the work on the Fence and had not been repaired or reconnected, in spite of Israel’s duty to return it to its original condition. One of the persons present had an orchard of 30 dunams, and it had dried up. The pipe to the fields in the west had also been disconnected during the works, but it had been reconnected. This enables them to grow, in addition to olives, za’ater, citrus fruit, avocadoes, almonds and more. Moreover, there had been a fire in the olive orchard and the Palestinian fire brigade didn’t get permission to pass, and the Israeli fire engines arrived to late.
We sat for two hours in the spacious room of the Head of the Council, and the villagers came one by one, loaded with documents, and presented their problems. There were some special cases, but most of the complaints were about that the submitted requests, for family members to work on the communal plots, usually return with the marking “not authorized” and the reason is always “there are enough permits for these plots”.
Each of the complainers is in a different situation. The first was an elderly woman who was unable to work. Her son is employed as a watchman at a parking lot, and she has applied for permits for two of her grandsons to go through gate 746, Jabara, a seasonal gate which is opened only a number of days per year; she was turned down.
There are some whose plots are large, as they were registered at the land registry office not as separate plots for the each inheritor after the death of the head of the family. According to them, this was because of the high cost of such registration. They rely on an agreement according to which they must get one permit for each plot of 2-3 dunams, and they got much less. For instance, in one case they got only 6 permits for a plot of 35 dunams, including were two for their parents who were too old for work. They ask for two more permits, and if they must they are prepared to waive the permits of their parents. Each one presents his request. We wrote everythings down, and received copies of the rejections. We will check how we might help, perhaps by approaching the DCO or some other organization.
We also received a list of 11 persons who had requested, three weeks ago, to renew their annual permits and have not yet received an answer. We shall follow up.
Finally, a man arrived who had a work permit in Israel, in addition to owning a plot beyond the fence, and this permit was taken from him after one of his brothers (he stressed that it was a brother from his father’s side but from another mother) was detained by the police. He also told us that the brothers, the mother, and the entire family were detained until the wanted brother gave himself up.
We see again how difficult the lives of these people are, i.e. of all the Palestinians who depend on the state of Israel, this time because Israel has decided to put up a separation obstacle between them and their lands.