Since 2001 we have observed dozens of army checkpoints on paved and unpaved roads in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and along the Separation Fence; Civil Administration offices which grant permits to Palestinians; and military courts trying Palestinian prisoners. We stand at the checkpoints observing the behavior of soldiers and Palestinians without interfering, intervening only when soldiers behave offensively to Palestinians. Then we try to speak to the soldiers themselves or telephone...
'Anabta, 'Azzun, Deir Sharaf, Falamiya, Jayyus, Jit Junction , Jubara (Kafriat), Mon 5.3.12, Afternoon
On Route 557, south of Tulkarm. Though located inside PA territory (a few kilometers east of the Green Line), serves as entry checkpoint between Occupied Territories and Israel.
12:00 We met a group of 8 soldiers on some practice mission by the side of the road which connects 'AzzunandJayyus, beyond the tunnel underneath Road #55. They stopped us with a wave of the hand, and then immediately sent us on our way, with another wave of the hand.
We planned to get to the agricultural gate at Jayyus at 12:00, the opening hour, but we were a bit late.
The gate was open, but, except for a flock of sheep, no one was waiting. The flock, with its shepherd, went through quickly and disappeared.
No one coming or going 12:30
13:05 Falamya Gate
Except for some bored soldiers, no one here. It seems that the afternoon hours are not popular with those passing through.
We return by way of 'Azzun, and continue onto Road #55. This time, we didn't meet any soldiers. Opposite Ramat Gil'ad we noticed an area which was fenced off and signs warning about land mines.
We continue by way of the Jit intersection and don't see any soldiers during the whole trip. At the turnoff to Nablus, by way of Serra,there is a red sign warning that the entrance to Area A is forbidden. Marvelous flowers on the side of the road!
At Deir Sharafthere was a lot of activity; new shops have been opened. At this afternoon hour they were having a BBQ next to the butcher shop! We stopped next to the bakery, which was also very busy at this hour.
The street lights are all lit. The entrance to the guard tower is blocked and one can't see the soldiers. The road, which had been in bad shape, seems to have been repaired. A lot of sheep everywhere, even inside the old checkpoint.
14:45 Teenim (Jabara)
A long line of Israeli vehicles arrive from the direction of Tulkarm and pass through the lane to the right of the checkpoint. We were told that the checkpoint opens at 11:00 and remains open until 17:00; the whole day it is only for the passage of Palestinian Israelis. We managed to see at least 20 vehicles waiting, each one goes through a thorough inspection by the soldiers
We pass through the regular lane without any problems, with the MachsomWatch flags flying.