Mickey Fisher relays a telephone report from Deir Al-Ghusson

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Miki Fisher

On Thursday, at Vivi’s request, I called to find out about the killing of a resident in Deir Al-Ghusson, in the Tulkarm district, next to the Separation Fence.  I spoke with G., a farmer from the village.  He told me that a large part of the village’s land is trapped in the Seamline Zone, and in order to reach it, they need a permit to cross through the agricultural checkpoint, which is closed.  Because the checkpoints and roads are blocked, even a valid permit won’t help.

G. is the owner of many greenhouses in the Seamline Zone, where he grows tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and other crops.  Yes, he heard about the resident from the village of Shivika, nearby, who was shot in the head and killed when he apparently tried to cross the Separation Fence on the way to his store in Israeli Barta’a, where he sells aluminum products. This man apparently had a crossing permit, but as stated above, since the war in Gaza, even people with permits don’t cross.

Because the agricultural checkpoints have already been closed for three months, the vegetables in his greenhouse (and in those of the rest of the farmers) have not been attended to at all. NIS 30,000 in crops have been lost.  The farmers turned to all the authorities, from the Palestinian National Security Authority to the Center for the Protection of the Individual (which deals with preventing passage through to the Seamline Zone). It turns out that the Center even filed a case with the High Court of Justice about this issue, but the response was negative.  Perhaps in the next week they will be answered and will receive a permit for one day in order to see the condition of their greenhouses.

I also called A.E., a farmer from Jayyus, in the district of Qalqilya.  He said that the agricultural checkpoints in Jayyus and Falamia have also been closed since the war.  The entrance to Qalqilya via Azzun is blocked and there it is not possible to travel on the main road.  A few farmers received a special permit to cross via Tsufin checkpoint, but the rest of them who weren’t successful in reaching their lands,  lost their crops.  Twenty days ago, the dirt road to Qalqilya was also blocked from Neve Elias, and passage to Qalqilya is via Ezbet Taviv.  Sometimes, even that road is blocked by a mobile checkpoint and it isn’t possible to reach the regional city for, among other things, medical treatment. They are pleading for help.