TULKARM, October 8, 2018 (WAFA) – Dozens of farmers were surprised when they attempted on Monday to reach their land in the Tulkarm area in the north of the West Bank located behind the annexation barrier in order to harvest their olive crops to find out that the Israeli army had shut down the gates in the fence and prevented the farmers from reaching their land, according to a local official.
Mayor of Deir al-Ghossoun, Anwar Khalil, told WAFA that at least 300 farmers from his village and nearby Attil were prevented by the army to reach their land to harvest the olive crops and other vegetables.
He said the land, which amounts to 2500 dunums, is located behind the barrier Israel had built in the West Bank and aimed at isolating agricultural land from the villages. The army controls metal gates in the fence and opens and closes them at will to allow farmers to reach their land behind the barrier. However, farmers need special army-issued permits to access their land.
The army measure against Tulkarm area villages is believed related to an incident in which a Palestinian from the same area shot and killed two Israelis in the illegal settlement of Burkan the day before.
As a result, residents say the action against the farmers is part of a collective punishment policy against the Palestinians in that area.