Eliyahu Crossing, Falamiya North Checkpoint (914), Falamiya South Checkpoint (935)

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 Ilana R, Karin L. (reporting).  Chana Stein translating

Passage at both checkpoints was without problems or complaints. But a comparison between the areas returned after moving the fence westward and those still located on the other side of the fence shows clearly the harm caused to those farmers whose lands are still on the far side of the fence.

Four cars checked in the checking hut, a short line of 2-3 cars at each checking station in the direction of Israel.

On the way to Azzun we saw the yellow beam that enables sporadic blocking of the main entrance to Izbat Tabib, without the need for a heavy tow vehicle to move rocks and cement blocks.

At Azzun there was no military vehicle at the entrance.

12:55 Agricultural checkpoint at Falamiya North (915)

Already open, and on time, according to the Palestinians.

Many young people passing, apparently schoolchildren recruited for farm work during their summer vacation. They are not interested in talking to us. In the end, when the tractor passes with its driver, they all climb on to a large waiting truck.

About 25 farmers await their turn to pass, as well as a number of tractors with large, loaded trailers.

Until the last moment before closing more farmers arrive, on foot or on tractors.  All smile today, pleased with the soldiers, they say, but they would like longer opening hours.

13:20  Falamiya South (935)

This time we arrived before the soldiers, but there were no farmers waiting. After a few minutes, the soldiers arrived to open the gate, and asked us if we would continue with them to Ji’us. A number of farmers arrived, mostly on tractors.

We were impressed all along the way by the new crops and infrastructure in the areas now “freed” by the moving of the separation fence.  It is obvious that opening the gatesinfo-icon even three times a day does not allow for good farming. (Unfortunately, I didn’t photograph.  Next time.)

On the way back we stopped at the (to me) new building and hut in the place of the old Falamiya checkpoint, and spoke with the owners. He asked why we don’t buld a house there, seeing that we pass there so much. Afterwards he asked for a direct road to the sea – from his point of view it could pass through fences and walls all the way. He himself is a merchant, and reaches Israel.  This year he received permits to enter Israel during the holiday for his family, but after the Tel Aviv attack, the permits were all cancelled. There are more than a hundred other families in Famaliya whose Ramadan permits were cancelled.

We travelled on the new road that leads to Ji’us. We did not manage to reach Habla before the checkpoints closed.