A Day in the North
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A Day in the North

Baqa ash Sharqiyya, Tulkarem District
***image3***At the Apartheid Wall’s gate to the south of Baqa ash Sharqiyya, a village isolated between the Wall and the Green Line, Israeli military soldiers have now been replaced with so-called border guards. All of the “border guards” at this gate are men, and they are prohibiting all Palestinian women from crossing the gate, forcing them to travel to a gate near the village Qaffin, where they then undergo body searches by soldiers who are women.

At neither of the gates in Baqa ash Sharqiyya, are teachers allowed to reach schools; soldiers are demanding that teachers from outside of the village obtain permits to pass through the Wall’s gates. Furthermore, all food products and goods from the West Bank are prohibited from being taken into the village, even when truck drivers have permits to pass. Since 90% of the goods upon which Baqa ash Sharqiyya depends are from the West Bank, people are now using taxi cars to transport goods to the gate, where they then carry them into the village. Thus, people are unable to carry larger goods such as building materials for homes or shops.

An additional Wall separating Baqa ash Sharqiyya and Nazlat Isa from Baqa al Gharbiyya is also being built; it is 8 concrete meters high, already some 200 meters long and is still being built. The Wall to the east of the villages already isolates them from the rest of the West Bank, and now the Wall to the west will entirely imprison Baqa ash Sharqiyya, Nazlat Isa, and Nazlat Abu Nar.

Jayyus, Qalqiliya District
***image2***Since November 21st, the Occupation Forces have failed to open the Wall’s southern gate to Jayyus. This gate, according to the Occupation Forces, was solely for the passage of Ali Abu Shareb’s family, whom are isolated behind the Wall. Further, the soldiers also put barbed-wire 20 meters before the gate, to prohibit people from nearing the gate at all. The gate’s closure came just before the Id, the festive time at the end of Ramadan, thereby prohibited Ali Abu Shareb’s family from taking part in an important tradition of visiting family and friends inside the village for the sacred times.

Additionally, on Nov 24th, the northern gate was also closed, thereby preventing farmers from reaching their land behind the Wall. The Occupation Forces informed the people that the closure was due to “changes taking place”, in particular, for deciding which soldiers would be “in charge” of the gate and the times which it would be open. The gate remained closed until November 30th, at which time the villagers organized a protest tent directly at the gate and rallied significant media attendance. For that day, in which there was considerable media presence, the gate was opened for all villagers to pass.

Additionally, there 116 farmers in Jayyus which have refused to apply for Israeli permits to access their land, all of these farmers are now entirely prohibited from reaching their land and livelihoods.

Also during the times of the gates’ closure, the Occupation Forces were attacking the village by shooting sound bombs and tear gas at homes under the pretext of searching for “individuals who broke the gate”. The soldiers intruded into the home of Jayyus’ mayor and ordered him to search for the people who allegedly damaged part of the gate, to provide their names to the Military and to look for the locks and equipment taken from the gate. The Mayor’s response was that he did not work for them and would not be involved.