Agricultural CP Fara'un 708
At 8:30 one of the farmers got in touch with me from the Fara'un 708 agricultural CP. The soldiers were again late this morning and opened the CP at 8:15 instead of at 7:00. The farmers decided they were unwilling to accept the army's excuses – there was no vehicle, security cargo, they got up late, and an abundance of others excuses.
They decided unanimously to go on strike and not enter their lands in the seam area on that day. They also complained that the CP was opened only three times a week and demanded that it be opened daily. According to them, the DCO officers or the Authority people didn't come to them, but they were told by telephone that on Thursday that "order would be re-established" and the gate would be opened as usual….
Only a week ago, on Tuesday, May 5th, many of them were not allowed to pass through the CP, at first because apparently their clothes were not clean, and later because they "didn't complete the cycle" – i.e. they didn't return on the same day by the agricultural CP, and were suspected of having stayed in Israel. This I was also told at the DCO operations room. The farmers claimed that this was nonsense, and that the soldiers just don't register them in an orderly way. And indeed, from watching them, it is not at all clear how the soldiers are able to register the passage – they seem to be typing the names on their smartphones. The farmers lost a workday on their lands and were forced to waste a whole other day and go to the DCO to initialize their authorisations…
The seasonal CP Tlat
This week a farmer from Tlat, who owns 200 dunams in the seam area, called me. Two weeks ago the inhabitants of the village submitted, via the Palestinian linkage, a request to open the CP at Tlat, so they could perform the seasonal jobs before summer – weeding, pruning, thinning and plowing, which help improve the soil, strengthen growth, as well as help prevent summer fires.
Until today they have not received an answer. He asked for our help. At the DCO all is quiet, no reaction. The operations room of the DCO doesn’t deal with the issue and from the phone calls to the DCO officers, who have expressed willingness to help when we met them, there was just an answering service, after a busy or call-waiting signals! The Palestinians are insignificant, and so are we.
O C C U P A T I O N!!!! And it seems we have not yet reached its bottom…