Agricultural gates are closing | Machsomwatch
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Agricultural gates are closing

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Saturday, 9 September, 2023
"Seam Zone" illustrated
Vivi Konforty

The "Seam Zone: refers to enclosed areas between the separation wall and the Green Line. In 2011, the court ordered the state to allow Palestinian farmers, if there is no security ban against them, reasonable access to lands they own and that are trapped in the seam zone.

The military pledged to the High Court that it would not "disproportionately" harm the farmers' livelihood and would allow them to access their land to work it and enjoy its harvest. The military decided which crops the Palestinians could grow in any area, what agricultural work was necessary for this, and how often access is required.

The implementation of the arrangement was complicated and draconian, but the farmers had no choice but to adapt to it. For this purpose, "agricultural gatesinfo-icon" were installed along the fence. To begin with, the gates were far from each other and from agricultural roads, and sometimes access to them with agricultural tools was difficult to the point of impossibility. Then the gates became barriers.

Read about it on our website."  “The Separation Barrier and the Seam Zone”

Habla CP – six o'clock. People wait for the gate to be opened
Vivi Konforty
Hard and long is the road to my land

"At dawn, a group of farmers waited near the agricultural checkpoint at Izbat Jaloud, in front of the settlement of Nirit. They must not miss the opportunity because the gate will only open for 15 minutes. There are farmers from the surrounding area, as well as from distant villages whose nearby checkpoints are closed or open at inconvenient hours. They tell of the long and arduous road, of the difficulty of fitting the agricultural work into the schedule and restrictions that the army dictates. A resident of the village of Azun Atma, for example, has to travel to this gate in order to reach his lands, which are far in the opposite direction, right in front of the Ornit gate, which has been shut since 2018. Instead of the ten minutes it used to take him to get from the village to his plot, now he wastes about an hour (about 8 km).

Most of them try to express themselves with moderation and restraint, but the feelings of insult and pain are evident. This has been the case for many years, and they still haven't gotten used to it. If the soldiers are late - there is nothing to do but wait. If a farmer is a minute late - the soldiers no longer let him pass. These are not reasonable conditions for tilling the land. The farmers give up some of the crops, but hold on to what is possible. This is how the "Seam Zone" becomes de facto annexed area." Nurit Popper, Vivi Konforty, 26.8.2016


Recently, with the construction of further sections of the separation wall, the agricultural gatesinfo-icon were closed and farmers' access to lands trapped in the seam areainfo-icon will only be allowed twice a year - during the harvest season and for plowing. Instead of the agricultural checkpoints that were close to the plots and were opened twice a week, it is now necessary to travel long distances on roads that require the use of an off-road vehicle or a tractor. This route is expensive and moving agricultural tools through it is almost impossible.

The closing of the agricultural checkpoints is offensive and disproportionate. The cry of the farmers fell on deaf ears and the future of the plots is in danger of being robbed from the farmers using Ottoman law to declare these areas as state lands.

Anin agricultural cheickpoint is closed, 7.9.23
Tami Ritov