Falamiya North Checkpoint (914), Falamiya South Checkpoint (935), Kufr Jammal, Qalqiliya
In order to collect as much information as possible about the issue of permits to the seam zone, we intended to visit a few villages and get first-hand information from the heads of the local councils. We found out that (of the villages we checked) only at Jiyus the requests are submitted collectively, so such information was available. In other villages, the farmers approach the Palestinian DCO personally, and when they get no replies they turn to the Israeli DCO as well. Everybody knows about the termination of the rift between the Palestinian and the Israeli DCOs and the return to the “former conditions”, but most requests have not yet been awarded replies.
According to M. from Jiyus there is no possibility of requesting permits for workers at the moment. He doesn’t know anything about new forms. We again heard about the necessity of attaching up-to-date land registry papers to every request for the renewal of a permit, and about the nuisance and the cost involved in this.
I contacted M. from Kaf’r Tzur to find out what is happening there. He knows only about the Sal’it CP, and there, there are no problems. As for the farmers who cross over at Falamiye North he has no information, and he said there was no point in coming to the Council.
I had arranged for a meeting at 11 o’clock, with M. from the council at Jiyus, in order to hear the news in regards to the permits. He was also supposed to direct us to the councils of Kaf’r Jamal and Falamiye. When we were on our way, he informed us that he had to go urgently to Kalkilya, and that we should drive to Kaf’r Jamal and Falamiye first and then come to him.
We stopped at Z.’s in Kaf’r Jamal, in order to find out where the baladiye was and if possible to let them know that we would like to come. He immediately invited us to his shop. He too told us about the details of the rift between the Palestinian and Israeli DCOs and the reasons for it. His sons have been out of work for several months already, their permits are now renewed, and he is very worried about the fate of the crops and the damage anticipated for his land. He told us about A. who entered into an argument with a soldier at a CP and a remark was registered in his papers, and now he cannot receive a permit. He said there was no use going to the baladiyes as there is nobody there. The head of the Kaf’r Jamal baladiye works at Sal’it, and can be found on Saturday only. Also there is no list of the people who had requested permits at the baladiye, as the farmers apply themselves and not in an organized manner to the Palestinian DCO and when they receive no reply, also to the Israeli DCO.
Despite this, we decided to look for the Falamiye baladiye . We found it, and also a nice man who spoke some Hebrew. He was on his way out and stopped his car when he heard what we were looking for, invited us to enter the council building, and signaled to the head of the council who passed, by chance, in his car on the road, to come, and immediately another council worker arrived as well.
We heard here about the same problems. Since a few months, there are no renewals of permits, but the local council does not deal with the requests and has no lists or information about applications which were not approved. The farmers must run around the DCOs themselves. We thanked them and continued to the CP.
12:35 Falamiye North (914) CP
Only one not-very-young person with a tractor was waiting for the opening of the gate. He spoke only Arabic and said that lately there had been no problems. On the other side tractors and people began to gather.
12:55 The gate was opened and he passed. Then came a few tractors with long empty carts and about twenty pedestrians, most of which mounted on the tractors in order to return to their homes in Kaf’r Jamal, Kaf'r Tzur and Falamiye.
We left when the CP emptied out and drove to Jiyus. Just when we arrived at the village, M., who had returned from Kilkilya phoned, and we met him at the Municipality building. He told us about the meetings the heads of the villages had with the representatives of the DCO and the Civil Administration about the many problems they have and their demands from the administration:
Water – the demand by the villages to confirm the upgrade of the diesel pumps to electrical pumps. They have an oral confirmation from two years ago, and they request a written confirmation without which the donor organizations cannot begin work (they are probably taking care after the Habla incident). “Everybody” agrees but they still do not provide a written and signed confirmation. The use of electrical pumps would lower the operational costs from 140 NIS per hour to 60 NIS per hour.
They have sewerage problems, on which he didn’t elaborate. Transportation – they demand authorization to renew the building of the road leading from Jiyus to Nebi Elias. The situation is difficult, meetings are held with the representatives of the DCO and the civil administration to discuss all the issues, but in the end only one gets discussed, and even for this one they do not receive the required approvals.
Regarding the approvals: At Jiyus the requests are submitted to the Palestinian DCO. At the beginning of the month, he submitted 48 requests for renewed approvals and also for new approvals – until now he received only four answers. The Palestinian DCO checks the documents, about 6-8 pages, some of which are forms which the applicants had filled in and some are their explications of the situation, and he returns them if it is necessary to introduce changes or to bring new documents.
It is very difficult for them regarding their lands, which are situated beyond the fence: for each sack of cement or gravel which they wish to take there, they have to get permission, sometimes from the main DCO at Beit El.
Some of the farmers own small huts for their tools, which also serve to store their crop and sometimes for rest in the long hours of waiting for the opening of the gates. Soldiers arrived one midnight, turned everything upside down, claiming they were searching for people who stayed to sleep in the area. Their flares caused a fire in one of the structures and all the crates of cucumber were harmed. Who will compensate them?
The up-to-date opening hours which M. got this morning from the DCO are:
Falamiye North 914 05:45-06:30
Falamiye South 935 06:40-07: