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Israeli military threatening to close gate in face of Farmers

The Israeli military plans to turn it into a "seasonal gate," opening it for certain times a year.

Jerusalem24 – During an appeal submitted by the HaMoked the Center for the Defense of the Individual, it was revealed that the Israeli military is threatening to close down the Zawiya Gate (Magen Dan); which Palestinian farmers in Tulkarm use to reach their lands in the area.

The appeal was submitted on behalf of a group of Palestinian farmers from the villages of Masha and Al-Zawiya, protesting what they described as irregular opening of the gate by the Israeli military.

The Public Prosecution announced, as part of the judicial procedure, the army’s intention to change the policy of opening the gate, so that it is opened for a few weeks a year instead of seven days a week throughout the year. According to the public prosecution’s announcement, it is expected that the Palestinian liaison will be informed of the army’s intention to change the policy of opening the gate in the coming weeks.

HaMoked Center submitted an appeal in 2019 to demand a settlement for the opening hours of the gate in order to allow Palestinian farmers to cultivate their lands. This is after discovering an irregularity in the opening hours of the gate during that period. Following the appeal, the army committed to opening the gate three times a day, seven days a week, throughout the year.

For their part, the Supreme Court justices rejected the state’s claim that there was no agricultural need to cultivate the land in that area, and determined that as long as there is no official decision on this matter. The Israeli army must fulfill its previous obligations, based on a promise it made in the past in response to a focused petition.

The promise is to keep the gate open seven days a week. The court ruling emphasized the need for permit holders to access their land even while the issue of closing the gate is being considered, as well as the need to provide an immediate response to their requests.

Jessica Montell, General Director of HaMoked , said that “this declaration is another step in the confiscation of lands that we see throughout the area.” Montell also added that, “we will file a third petition with the Supreme Court to ensure that the farmers of the Zawya and Masaha have access to their land.”

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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