“Access Gates”: Jayyus Municipality Appeal Highlights Wall’s Institutionalization and Relentless Humiliation
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“Access Gates”: Jayyus Municipality Appeal Highlights Wall’s Institutionalization and Relentless Humiliation

On Tuesday October 6th, the Municipality of Jayyus, a village in the Qalqiliya district which is separated from 72% of its land by the Wall, sent out an appeal for support for residents’ to reach their land. There are two “access gates” in Jayyus which are claimed by the Israeli military to be for farmers to reach land on the “other side” of the Wall; however, the gates are a means by which Israel seeks to legitimize the Wall and confiscation of Palestinian land and intensify the humiliation which Palestinians suffer under all aspects of the Occupation.

The October 6 Jayyus appeal states:

The farmers and the people of Jayyus appeal you to withstand the continuous closure of the Wall’s gate in Jayyus. For more than 10 days in the past two weeks the only possible way for the whole community to reach olive and citrus farms were closed. About three hundred families were stopped at the gate and not permitted by the Israeli military to reach their land.

***image5***All the irrigated areas (1,500 dunums* of land) including 120 greenhouses are now seriously deteriorating. Without reaching the farms for additional few days, or if closure will continue to be in similar way (open 2 days a week), means complete loss of all vegetable products, especially inside the greenhouses.

Jayyus has six groundwater wells, all of which have been seized and now behind the Wall, and in addition to 2,300 acres of the most fertile land. The area behind the Wall produces annually 7 million kilograms of vegetables and fruits. It also creates about 65,000 work days for the village per year. The sustainable life that framers used to have and the jobs for three hundred families (2,000 people) are now frozen and vanishing slowly.

This is the time to harvest olives, guava and clementine. No access or partial access to land means death to the products and life of people in Jayyus. We in the municipality of Jayyus have no resources to deal with such overwhelming crises.

***image4***The daily reality of the gates consists of people waiting for hours for Israeli military to “open” the gates—which rarely happens, being charged between 200-500 Shekels to cross, or being locked on one side of the gate without it reopening so that residents may return home. These experiences of degradation are further emphasized as soldiers frequently tell Palestinians they are “entering Israel” when they cross or deny passage stating that the land “is not theirs”. More often than not, the gates remain locked.

In the case of Jayyus, it is continually reported that closure of the gates is sudden and farmers are not able to return to their homes. The complete closure of the gates now—for the tenth day in a row—also happened in July when they gates were sealed shut for 15 days.

As people are unable to reach their land and crops are rotting, thousands of people are losing their livelihoods and heritage in Jayyus, as are all communities whose land is isolated by the Wall, as it is the harvest season. The gates are yet another horrific reality and burden to daily life for communities along the Wall. Village councils and municipalities have been resisting the institutionalization of the gates by refusing to provide the Israeli military with a list of residents’ names in each area and owners’ names of isolated lands. Additionally, people in many areas are refusing the idea of “crossing permits” because such permits would mean that people can only pass to and from their villages– denied any right to enter other areas they may need to reach. There are several families in Jayyus which have erected tents on their isolated land due to inaccessibility.

* 1 dumum = 1,000 square meters = ¼ acre