Because the `separation fence' follows such an absurd route, it has been necessary to install a number of gates that let children go to their schools and permit farmers access to their fields (q.v. `seam area'). In actual practice, it is the army that controls these gates and opens and closes them as it sees fit. Thus, for example, during the olive harvest, it is the army which determines the hours when the gates will open and close and thus exactly how long the olive-harvest season can last. In many areas, the Palestinians have simply been forbidden to work their lands at any point in the year, a prohibition whose effect is already visible in the run-down state of the olive groves.