'Azzun, Beit Furik, Falamiya, Falamiya North Checkpoint (914), Falamiya South Checkpoint (935), Huwwara, Jayyus, Jinsafut, Jit Junction, Za'tara (Tapuah)

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Alix Weitzman, Miki Fisher (reporting); Translator: Rachel B.P.

Another occupation day with no exceptional occurrences – apparently the occupation routine can be seen in the army jeeps standing in certain junctions or passing us in the peaceful weary afternoon hours and in the checking of permits at the farmers' gatesinfo-icon. But it is deceiving since no one can anticipate what might evolve a minute after we will be in a village or at the machsom.


13:00-14:00 – We are driving on route 5 and passing places where the big blockades of Nablus used to be.


13:00 – Zaatra junction (Tapuah) – Palestinian cars are driving in all directions with no disturbance. An army jeep is standing in the middle of the junction. In the bus stop 4-5 settlers try to hitchhike and in the concrete post 2 armed soldiers guard the settlers. The watch tower is manned by a soldier.

We continue – in Beta junction we see a new roundabout in the middle of the road. For whom is it? We pass Hawara – the main road of the village is lively – children coming back from school, people crossing on way to the shops, cars go by in both directions.


13:20 - Huwwara CP – 3 tall guarding posts around the roundabout manned with soldiers guarding the settlers. The entrance to Nablus is open and cars go in and out with no disturbance. The pillbox is manned by soldiers reminding us that the situation can change within a minute. We continue to Beit Furik. From Awarta junction the road becomes an apartheid road – only settlers from Itamar and Alon More, public buses and cars with yellow plates are allowed on this road. The road has an exotic name "Madison Axis" and any Palestinian who comes to Beit Furik or Beit Dajan has to make a detour and enter through Machsom Hawara, cross Nablus and arrive to the village through Machsom Beit Furik.


13:40 – Beit Furik CP is open. No checking. The watch tower is manned by soldiers. We go back to Harwara junction driving on route 557 towards route 55. The signposts indicate Kdumim with no indication to the big town Kalkulia. The signs are for Jews only, even on the roads that are not apartheid roads. We pass the outskirts of Hawara where the road is being widened. Two Palestinian surveyors are carrying out their job.


14:15 – We pass Sara, Jit, Funduk, Jinsafut – all entrances are open. Passing Azzun – the army jeep which usually stands here is not in sight – "warrior's rest"?

14:50  - We visit our friend AE who will take is in his car to the checkpoints. He tells us about his new problems concerning his lands. He has 50 dunams beyond the fence which was moved. 4 days before we arrived a note was posted in his and his neighbors' lands indicating that 5 dunams, where he planted 20 olive trees and 50 fruit trees are state land and not his. He explains that these 5 dunams are in fact his and the planting was done with minor deviations due to the winding of the fence which didn't allow planting in a uniform plot.  He also added that all the lands belong to the villagers but some of them were not registered in the Land Registry Office but only by a decree which marks the borders of each plot. Using the Haraj Kyat was done because people wanted to save money during the British mandate and therefore only seemingly these are state lands. The ability of the State of Israel to confiscate lands is well known.

We go with him to Falamiya south Jayyus gate and on the way he is showing us another problem. He has a plot adjacent to the settlement Zufin. The settlers issued, through the civilian administration, a decree indicating they purchased the plot. The plot they bought, directly from villagers or through a middleman, is near the fence but the settlers managed somehow to issue a new map whereby the plot they bought is in his land and not near the fence… He asked them how come the plot registered near the fence "flew away" 5 km. The answer he received:"this is it, no room for argument". Thus, the settlers with IDF's cooperation plan to expand the settlement. Our friend has a lawyer appointed by the Palestinian Authority. It appears that the lawyer is not allowed to photocopy documents by fax machine in Beit El and has to do it with his cell phone. As the saying goes: no one in the world is more moral than the IDF and Israel.


The Head Council of Jayyus told us that the Center for Human Rights will not deal with the electrification of Gius' wells. Some say it is a complicated issue since the pipes are to be put under the road from Eyal CP to Zufin. Therefore, there is no chance that the strongest State in the world, the one that seemingly did not confiscate Palestinian lands, will give its permission to the project.


15:50 – Jayyus (Falamiya south) – People are waiting on the other side of the gate. The gate opened 5 minutes late. 2 MPs and 2 soldiers from the brigade. The MPs check rather quickly and people pass. 12 tractors passed and 30 people. People say that the current soldiers treat them well and don't make their life difficult as those who were stationed here before them. They hurry home and are glad for any minute that does not pose problems. We see a tractor carrying a frame of a greenhouse standing on the side. When asked why the tractor is there we are told that they cannot cross without coordinating it with the DCO. They don't argue anymore…they will coordinate it soon. We don't wait to the closing of the gate and go to the next one.


16:30 Falamiya south (914) – the gate is already open. About 50 people and 10 tractors pass. A truck that collects the crops passes as well. Due to the weather not many went to the fields today. Some people claim that the crossing is smooth and some complain about the checkups claiming they were stripped. They don't elaborate as they hurry to go back home.


We didn't make it in time to the opening of Jayyus CP south but we drove by and took a picture. Alix said that she noticed that the bottom of the gate was burned. Our friend told us that the youngsters are demonstrating by burning tires and then the farmers are punished with the gates being closed for days or weeks.


At present the status quo is being kept and the gate is opened. Only few farmers, those with plots nearby, use the gate.


At the end of our shift, on the way back, we go to see the oldest tree in Jayyus, 1000 years old, where you can sit and enjoy its shade or rather climb into its trunk and forget occupation.


18:20 – We go back and pass Azzun. An army jeep is standing across the village…maybe planning to enter the village at night…occupation routine?