Beit Amin Checkpoint (1447), Habla Checkpoint (1393), Jalud, Kufr Thulth
Many gates were closed; finally one was open.
We stopped at Z.’s shop and dropped off the parcels we’d brought him. We’re pleased his condition is improving. But he still has a long way to go.
Thult seasonal gate 1263.
We continue south to meet M., from Thult. About five months ago 14 of his family’s olive trees were uprooted by a bulldozer. Earlier, the land had been stolen.
On the way to El Matan – a settlement belonging to Ma’aleh Shomron, established 17 years ago by a group of young people from settlements in the area. The residents live in trailers and IDF soldiers provide security. We were there a year ago, reported, photographed and told Mison from Yesh Din about it. Since then work has been underway to pave a road to the small settlement. Heavy equipment moves earth from a higher to a lower area, places boulders and grades the land. All for the benefit of the settlers, lords of the land.
M. says they have asked that the seasonal gate to Harish be opened. It’s hard for them (for us too) to obtain answers from the Israeli DCL. As far as they know, the gate will be opened Sunday, 26.2.17, for two weeks.
The Palestinian DCL told them when the gate will be opened: from 09:00 to 19:00. That enrages them. It’s unacceptable. They’re farmers who want to reach their land at 07:00 and return home at 15:30. That’s a long enough workday. They have no reason to remain when it grows dark. But the army has its own rules and doesn’t care what the Palestinians need.
I tried to contact the DCL officers, but to no avail. Can anyone help?
M. and his family have 300 dunums of land. They grow olives and almonds. At this time they’re plowing, pruning, spraying, and taking care of the trees, some of which are more than 100 years old.
Jaloud, gate 1419
Apparently, the gate didn’t open in the afternoon.
Gate 1443, opposite Oranit (my photograph from four years ago)
We continue searching for agricultural gates. We reach one with the assistance of a Palestinian, who has offered to help.
Sha’arei Tiqva on the right, Beit Amin on the left. The number of the gate and the opening hours are not posted. It may be a seasonal gate. We’ll try to find out.
Beit Amin (Abu Salman) gate 1447
A car with three Palestinians stops. We ask for directions to the Palestinian side of gate 1447. They gladly volunteer to help and drive ahead of us. We follow, turn to a dirt road, go through a puddle and, with their help, arrive at the gate we had been seeking also on previous shifts.
A., a landowner, has serious complaints:About a month ago the gate closed permanently. The Beit Amin 1447 gate has been eliminated. Why? Because!
Gate 1443 was opened instead. It was opened for too short a time, just after construction of the Wall has been completed. Then it closed, to the chagrin of residents of ‘Azzun ‘Atma and Beit Amin.
For them, a trip in a donkey cart that used to take less than ten minutes now lasts about an hour. Tractors usually aren’t allowed through. The situation is unbearable.
(We have to find out the opening hours of this checkpoint)
A 65-year-old man. His sons can’t obtain permits to reach his land. He no longer has the strength for farm work (the land is registered in his father’s name). A few days ago he arrived at the checkpoint with his daughter and both went through. On their way home in the afternoon his daughter was detained. During the course of the day she’d turned into a suspicious person, just like that…
We asked him to give us the details: when did he apply to the Palestinian DCL and when did the Palestinians transmit the requests to the Israeli DCL.
Habla – checkpoint 1393, the town side
Finally, an open gate. Sparse traffic. The plant nursery’s vehicle is transporting seedlings.