Israeli soldiers occupying the gate that leads in and out of the city of Qalqilia detained a Palestinian for 10 hours because he carried a map of the Wall route.  The map is public, not a “secret” document as soldiers claimed in the northwestern West Bank city.

Mohammad Zaid had the map in his pocket and while being searched last night at the gate five kilometers south Qalqilia, Israeli soldiers found it and accused the man of holding secret Israeli military documents.

Even the Civil Administration told the soldiers that this map is not a “military secret,” soldiers still would not release him.

The Palestinian man clarified that he obtained the map from a lawyer in the Local Village Council east of Qalqilia, which illustrated the latest modifications in the Wall route in the area.

By all local accounts, passage through the gate system in and out of the city surrounded by the Wall is up to the “mood of the guards.” Several villages in the south of the Qalqilia District face daily disruptions in citizens’ movement.  Youngsters and the elderly are allowed permits for movement, but other than them all Palestinians have an even more difficult time moving.

Several area farmers also report that they are exposed to repeated insults from the soldiers at the gates as they try to reach their lands and animals.

Farmers are expected to face a serious economic problem as the Israeli military refuses to give permits for the trucks that transport vegetables and fruits from the farms to the rest of the West Bank.

One truck driver from Qalqilia reported that the officer at the department responsible for issuing permits, told him that he can only sell these products in Qalqilia area.  However, the product exceeds the area’s need.