***image2***New restrictions have come into force at the Tayaser checkpoint in the Jordan Valley, making movement even more difficult for Palestinians, and increasing the pressure on farmers who are already suffering hardship.
Under the new restrictions, children over the age of one are not allowed to pass the Tayaser checkpoint without documentation to prove that they are from the Jordan Valley area. This new restriction will hit families particularly hard. In many married couples, husband and wife come from different areas of the Jordan Valley, or from the west in Tubas or Jenin.
Occupation forces at Tayaser are also checking the mobile phones of everyone wishing to pass, going through address books, call logs and text messages. The highly intrusive searches mean further delays, with scores of Palestinians kept waiting in long lines.
In the past couple of weeks, there has also been an increase of the number of flying checkpoints in the Jordan Valley, in addition to the main checkpoints like Tayaser. Almost every crossroads near to a Palestinian village is now blocked by a flying checkpoint. The new restrictions come on top of other measures announced earlier this month banning farmers from staying away from their villages overnight, preventing them from grazing their livestock more than one hundred metres from their homes and banning travel during the Jewish holidays.
The difficulty of transportation means that the price of Jordan Valley produce is rising. There are fears that the increasing closure will completely destroy the harvest season this year. Transport vehicles are frequently stopped at checkpoints for hours in the sun which damages the quality of produce.