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...
'Azzun 'Atma, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Huwwara, Ras 'Atiya, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 8.8.12, Morning
The checkpoint is presently on the Separation Barrier roadway, manned and open 12 hours a day, from 6:30 to 18:30. West of it is the large Seam Line village whose school is attended by children from the nearby villages east of the Barrier and many of whose inhabitants have permits to work in Israel. How long this checkpoint will remain in place is unknown, since construction of the Separation Wall, just by the settlement of Alfe Menashe, east of the present Separation Barrier, is endless, as is the creation of a new road and, obviously, a new checkpoint.
Translator: Charles K.
One of the participants on “A Star is Born” this season is a settler from Tzufim. Just “Tzufim.” Yesterday participants were each asked to sing a song recalling a childhood memory. As she explained the reason she chose her song she was filmed at a bird-watching station from which you could see into the distance; the red-roofed buildings of Tzufim peeking from one edge of the frame. She gazes west, but from the bird-watching station where she stands she can’t see the town of Qalqiliya surrounded by a wall, the villages of Jayyus, Nabi Elias and others whose lands were stolen for the benefit of the settlements in the area. Nor do the directors, hosts and judges of the show with the largest viewing audience understand how they legitimize the occupation when they write just “Tzufim.” Apparently the overflow audience in the studio and those sitting in front of the TV at home don’t know, or don’t think about the de facto annexation of an area located beyond the familiar, sovereign borders of the state of Israel.
We saw facts being created on the ground at every settlement below which we drove (“below” – of course. That’s the strategy) – construction whose momentum doesn’t cease, the lofty cranes, the buildings spreading from the hilltops down the hillsides, already touching the Palestinian villages below.
And therefore our shift today raises a question about the political solution of dividing the land.
The land has been carved up by checkpoints which, according to the wishes of politicians/the military prevent/control/determine the movement of Palestinians. So we saw:
06:50 – Habla. About 15 people wait on the Habla side for the checkpoint to open.
06:58 –A driver and cart cross to Habla.
07:04 –A “quintet” of Palestinians is inspected and exits toward the plant nurseries.
07:06 –The second “quintet” exits.
07:08 –Women exit.
A young man seated between the fences is told by a soldier to remove his shoes.
More and more people, and also horse carts, join those waiting.
There’s shoving among the people waiting on the Habla side.
Those wearing belts are told to remove them during the inspection.
A woman who isn’t young waits to enter Habla. She came out earlier; now she’s carrying a large bundle of mallows on her head.
07:43 –People arrive bit by bit from Habla.
A young man exiting the inspection building says: “They’re [the soldiers] stuck-up.” We asked what he meant. “I say: ‘Open the door;’ She says: ‘You’re not my boss;’ I say: ‘Open it so we can go out.’
07:48 –We left.
07:58 –Eliyahu crossing checkpoint – Three people are waiting in the shed.
We continued our circuit of the checkpoints:
We saw where the Ras A-Tiya checkpoint had once stood; today there’s no sign of it. But the military “security road” located on the village’s land is blocked by a gate.
Azzun Atma’s northern gate #1459 is manned by soldiers. Cars exiting aren’t inspected; no cars were entering at this hour. We entered the village and drove to Azzun Atma’s southern checkpoint. No one waited to leave the village. There are remnants of a checkpoint at QarawatBani-Hassan(near Biddya) – from which we learn that the occupation is still present. We continued to the Za’tara/Tapuach checkpoint. No inspections here either, although there were Border Police soldiers in the parking area. Cars go through the Huwwara checkpointwithout delays; a soldier peeked at us from the guard tower overlooking the plaza.
Throughout our circuit we saw, as we said, how the phrase “We’ll dress you in garments of concrete and cement”… is being applied, as you can see in the following photos, taken opposite the settlements of Sha’arei Tiqwa/Etz Efrayim.