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...
Deir Sharaf, Habla, Jit, Sa'ir, Mon 19.7.10, Morning
Ronny S., Ada H. (reporting) Translator: Charles K.
The entrance to the village, which leads also to Shuyukh, is blocked by concrete blocks. This is a meeting place of the villagers who need help from our members in bureaucratic matters.
06:40 The Habla agricultural gate on the plant nursery side is open. A military
command-car is on site and soldiers move around. Many Palestinians on line on the other
side; it’s hard to estimate their number. Two new pavilions have “sprung up” before both
gates: for those exiting and those entering. They appear to be made of iron or some other
metal, and it’s easy to imagine how hot it must be inside all day during the summer. No
water faucets. A Palestinian sitting in the pavilion says that people are already there at 4
AM to get a place on line and reach their plots early. He also said that many villagers are
forbidden entry, so their wives go work in the plant nursery every day and earn only NIS
06:45 The agricultural gate opens. A soldier checks five people. When he’s finished
they move to a shed where they undergo an additional inspection (we couldn’t see what
it was). When they come out the soldier sends five more Palestinians whom he’s already
checked, and so on until there’s no one left on line. People with bicycles and carts
pulled by a donkey or a horse leave them next to the gate until they’ve finished being
inspected in the shed and then return to get them and continue on their way. An elderly
woman went through the procedure and returned to get a cart loaded with packages, a
youth driving the donkey seated on it. The soldier at the gate checked his document
and allowed him through. After about 20 minutes the youth returned with the cart. The
soldier standing at the gate on the plant nursery side checked his document and hesitated
whether to allow him to return because there was no photograph on his birth certificate,
nor did he have his parents’ documents. After some indecision on the soldier’s part, and
an admonition to the youth, he was allowed to go through.
07:40 We left.
There are new sidewalks next to the buildings along the road in Seir and Jayyus. The road
paved by USAID appears new and enables people to drive smoothly and securely.
By the roadside after Pondok, before Qedumim, there’s a large sign: “Shvut Ami
supports Itai Zar>”
08:40 Jit junction. No roadblock. Traffic flows freely.
08:50 At Deir Sharaf we got on the paved road toward Jenin. There were some workers
on the road, but we saw no equipment. The soldiers at the gate to the military camp said
that the road coming from Jenin is almost finished.
We stopped at the former location of the Beit Iba checkpoint, which no longer exists.
A number of quarries seem to be operating there but the grocer said that only about ten
percent of the residents of the village have found jobs. Most are unemployed.
We drove up to Kusin on the convenient new road that divides in two – northwest to
Kusin and northeast to Nablus. On all the roads we took there was considerable traffic
that flowed without interference.