Habla and the roads leading to Dir Sharaf and 'Anabta
06:45 Agricultural Gate, Habla
The Palestinians report that the gate opened on time, at 06:30. Very rainy and muddy. The crossing is quick, one group of 5 waits at the turnstile and another leaves the building after about 2.5 minutes.
One man goes through and there are no more waiting. A slow dribble of people and a dribble of rain. In a conversation with a Palestinian who was going from Habla in the direction of the nurseries, but was waiting, we found out that he was waiting for his grandson, who was supposed to bring some special tools for work in the hothouse. The grandfather had already risen at 3 AM and had taken care of the flock of valuable sheep which he has in Habla (his sheep do not go out to graze), but now he is angry with his grandson who is keeping him waiting. He hopes that there will be livelihood for all, and doesn't enter into politics...
Two buses of children arrive, the drivers get out to have documents checked, meanwhile the soldiers open the gate for a wagon coming from Habla.
The buses leave. 3 vans, full of small plants, leave Habla, inspected and passed. The elderly guard of the nursery arrives in his nephew's car, they go through quickly.
07:45 Eliyahu Gate
At the police station, at the entrance to the checkpoint from the direction of Israel, there were a number of trucks standing and it seemed as though their documents were being checked. The crossing point of the workers was empty and in the area of vehicles' inspection we saw only 2 cars.
At the isolated house, which used to be called "Shvut Ami" (my nation returns), one could still see Independence Day decorations. Is that a sign of something to come? At the turn in the road before Kedumim there was a military vehicle.
One armed soldier was guarding the hitchhiker's station of Kedumim.
Opposite the entrance to the village of J'at there a military vehicle was parked. At the crossroads itself, there wasn't any IDF.
Beneath Kedumim, they are paving a new road which seems to be preparation for further expansion.
We traveled in the direction of Dir Sharaf and went onto highway #60. Opposite the remains of the checkpoint which had been there at the turnoff to the village of Nakura, there was a military jeep. Further along highway #60 (in the direction of Jenin) there was a street sign, "National Park of Samaria, Sebastia".
The question should be asked, who is allowed to go to this "Park", since, at the turnoff, there is also a red sign saying that it is forbidden for Israelis to travel on this road, since it leads to the area under the control of the Palestinian Authority...
We traveled to Dir Sharaf to visit our old friend, the shop/bakery owner. We stopped for coffee and falafel and a talk about what's happening...his son finished his second degree, with distinction, at the University in Nablus and was accepted for further studies in Germany towards his doctorate. It turns out that all of his children, including those who help him all the time in the shop, are excellent students and his wife also completed her second degree at the University, but doesn't work outside the house. He is the only one in the family who didn't study, but provides very well for his family. He told us that, during the closure, "in honor of your holiday", there were a lot of soldiers and military vehicles everywhere, as though they were just waiting for something to happen.
Again, there was a conspicuous lack of compatibility between the abilities of people to adapt themselves to every situation and the existence which they are forced to endure.
We traveled to the checkpoint of 'Anabta, where he reported that there were exchanges of fire 2 weeks ago. (we also read about that in the paper).
09:20 'Anabta checkpoint
At the entrance to the turnoff, there was a large sign warning Israeli citizens, in red letters, that the road leads to areas under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority, and the entrance is forbidden for Israelis.
An Israeli flag was flying on the guard tower, and there were soldiers there who didn't come down, even when we approached in our car. There is an endless stream, undisturbed, of Palestinian cars going in both directions. We didn't see that the road to the village of Ramin from this crossroad had been fixed or renovated as had been promised a few months ago.
We continued on highway #557, in the direction of Jabara. All the turnoffs to the villages on the way had the same large red signs warning Israelis not to enter the villages (demonization?), which, of course, were not named.
On the contrary, the road to the village of Shufa was renovated and there is a sign with the village's name in Hebrew (before the turnoff to the settlement of Avnei Hefetz). We turned off toward Avnei Hefetz, to check if the blockage before Izbat Shufa had really been removed permanently; we were happy to see a lot of traffic of Palestinian cars as well as Israeli Arabs passing through there with no problem. We continued in the direction of Avnei Hefetz and met up with a military jeep observing the road. We continued to the checkpoint of Te'enim and saw the new fence being slowly constructed around the house of the late Abu Hatam.
The soldier at the checkpoint asked us where we had been, and we answered that we had been on the roads and at the checkpoints and inspected them. Without any answer, he opened the checkpoint for us...
I lengthened this description because I always feel that everything is fine, while really everything is not fine; so very not fine, but I can't get this feeling across...
Ordinary day, sun shining and the occupation continues as usual. A childrens' bus went through with no problem at Habla.
06:10 'Azzun 'Atma
A lot of people outside; medium sized line of about 60 waiting; someone we marked went through in about 20 minutes - not bad for this location. The turnstile is operating and a number of people are allowed to go through each time it and to wait until a turn is ready at the inspection booth. Now there is also a magnometer and those approaching remove their belts before they arrive and empty their pockets. In this way, they go through quickly without any delays. Some of them are already experienced - not like in the terrible days of Beit Iba, when every other person would get stuck in the magnometer because he had left something in his pocket, or his shoes set off the alarm. There is also an inspection table between the two booths and, if someone finished the check and has equipment with him, returns to an additional gate which a soldier opens for him and behind which he can leave his stuff, and he goes through an inspection by hand. And to "freedom" in the State of Israel.
One illegal infiltrator was caught going through a hole in the fence and brought back to the checkpoint - we didn't see what happened to him, because we noticed this only after we had left for the house of the coffee salesman. There is a huge rip of about 3 meters in the fence to the east of the checkpoint, already there for several weeks, but they don't fix it, just run after the infiltrators to hunt them down. Always successful - but that depends on for whom.
The childrens' buses arrive and go through, except for one that has a huge rock caught in the wheel - after a lot of pushing and pulling and banging, the stone was released and they could go on their way. There is no one left in line, and those coming now are particularly those with tractors, wagons, vans, and they go through quickly.
Pastoral as usual and only remains of black on the floor next to the gate and on the gate are reminders of the fire that was set here during the demonstrations a few weeks ago. People come constantly, little by little, wagons with horses, vans, go by after inspection.
We wanted to see how the new fence is coming along - and, in fact, it isn't finished yet but, when we went up to the highest place in a-Ras, we could see that it is already paved and looks really "nice". But it is not yet connected to the old fence beneath a-Ras. One can also see them working on the fence next to Jayyus.
The gates open at 04:05, five minutes late.
The women’s gate opens at the same time. All the women who had crowded around go through in 4 minutes and the gate is locked. Whoever arrives a minute later (at 04:10) must join the regular line. Women claim that Friday (15.3.13) the women’s gate didn’t open at all!
Among those crossing to Israel, a man we’d chosen to time at 04:15 came out of the facility at 04:25. In other words – the crossing goes quickly. A man who’d been given a slip of paper by the Ecumenicals when he was still in line came through in 15 minutes. All six booths are operating. A man tells us about an elderly man who was delayed inside; a second person tells us that the elderly man was sent back. It isn’t clear why.
The flow of people coming through diminishes. The Ecumenicals report by phone that the entry gates have been closed. They remained closed for 15 minutes. Why? The congestion at the entrance increases; people become angrier! The Ecumenicals report that there’s confusion and fighting at the gate. Two weeks ago, 1118 people entered the facility during the first half hour; today, only 750 went in.
People tell us it’s difficult to obtain prescription drugs as part of their health insurance (drugs are available privately but they’re too expensive for the laborers). We tried to find out what health insurance they had. It isn’t clear to us. Everyone with an Israeli work permit pays NIS 95 per month for insurance. The people we spoke to didn’t know whether they were covered by Nat==nal Insurance (Bituach Leumi) or by the health insurance law. Annalin tried for a week to find out what insurance they had, and what it entitled them to (that’s why this report has been delayed). We haven’t yet been able to understand what’s going on. If anyone knows – please tell us.
05:15 Jubara crossing. We were asked to find out about the relocation of the fence’s route. The new route hasn’t yet been completed; we see double fences – both new ones and old ones in a confusing tangle. At this hour all the gates in the fence are open. Cars go through the vehicle crossing without stopping.
05:35 We left.
09:40 We stopped at the Palestinian workers' crossing at Irtach. It was empty and quiet at that hour. It was also dirty with lots of trash strewn around.
We went through Te'enim Gate as we noted that Jubarra is completely blocked from that side. There is a new fence that includes Abu Khatem's house. And the old fence is still there also. Double security.
As we drive we note the beautiful almond trees in bloom. Anabta is open and empty. There is a military jeep at the road leading to Shavei Shomron. It's a lovely spring day and we pass a number of shepherds with their flocks of goats and sheep. We have to stop to let them cross the road.
Habla is empty and quiet. At the plant nursery we see many full grown olive trees for sale. We wonder where they came from.
11:00 We left through the Eliahu Gate.
Ordinary day of occupation. The children are on "vacation" as there is a strike of the employees of the Authority, the teachers and many others. This is because they did not receive a salary last month.
On the way, we saw a lot more use of donkeys than in the past. Even on highway #55, in the area between Eliyahu gate and the gas station of Alfei Menashe, there were a number of wagons with passengers and donkeys pulling them.
06:20 'Azzun 'Atma
Many are already waiting outside, but the line has about 70 people or more, even though the inspection is quick - 30 people went through in 8 minutes. The building of the checkpoint is proceeding at a good pace and every time something new has been added "to the advantage of the residents". Now it is a kind of divider, half transparent, between the vehicles lane and the inspection lane for pedestrians.
06:45 Tamar gate
We travelled by way of Oranit. Also, on this side of the road which leads to the gate, there is an additional gate, which cuts off the road coming from the Tamar gate. Pedestrians arrive and form a line between the gate and the fence. One can also pass through the gate if you push with both shoulders, but, in principle it is locked and there is only the hole in the fence. On both sides of the gate they are working on the new fence. It looks as though it will increase the amount of land returned to Palestine on one side but, along the road to Oranit it will decrease the space. There is also a lot of work on the south side of the road to Elkana - are they continuing the fence to there?- we'll see.
There is no one in line, even though the gate opened at 06:30; it is not usual that 45 minutes after the opening there is not yet a line. The children didn't cross because of the school strike. People keep arriving, but go straight through in both directions.
Eliyahu gate- 3 vehicles for inspection, no pedestrians waiting in line; there is a new shed in the pedestrian area, but not near the inspection booth.
We traveled to 'Azzun to our friend, Z., to bring things for his store. It is pleasant to report that he is enterprising and intends to open another store, so he will sell men's wear alone and his wife will sell the women's wear. However, his medical situation has not improved.
Quiet as usual; vehicles go through, tractors and donkeys. All of them with children - vacation, so they can help with the work
09:30 Jabarra checkpoint
Quiet, only a few people going through but the checkpoint still exists. According to the soldiers, they will dismantle it in another 1-2 months; a Palestinian said in another 20 days. So we decided to go and check how the fence is coming along. We went up to Ar Ras (next to the mosque) where there is a very good lookout. We saw that the fence is far from being completed (in the area under the rocks), and it doesn't look as though the Jabarra checkpoint will be dismantled. We will follow up.
13:20 We went through the Eliyahu crossing; a truck had been stopped for customs inspection. The Habla agricultural gate is open; carts, cars and people with children cross to Habla.
14:00 The gate closes.
Funduq – Shops are open, people in the streets.
Huwwara checkpoint isn’t manned; no cars go through.
14:20 Burin – We met the mother and sister of the youth who’d been arrested in his home in the middle of the night, compelled to admit throwing a rock and sentenced to seven months in prison. He’s in the Meggido prison. His parents had also to pay a NIS 5000 fine and hire a lawyer. He was about to take his matriculation exams; now he’s lost a year of school.
A man named Munir tells us how settlers from Beracha and Yitzhar attacked olive pickers, cut down trees and injured people. Residents of Burin complained to the IDF; soldiers are guarding the olive harvesters. A sack of olives on the shoulder, soldiers to the left and right. The settlers are fine.
We were also told about a woman hospitalized after being hit in the head by a large rock. The incident happened in the olive grove next to the road from Burin to Huwwara, near the quarry.
We’re outraged by the Palestinians’ helplessness in the face of harassment by the settlers and the regime.
The streets of Huwwara are filled with people; traffic is heavy.
15:00 Deir Sharaf – Stone cubes remain on the road where the Shavei Shomron checkpoint had been located.
Anabta-Te’anim: Soldiers in the tower; no one around.
Jubara checkpoint: An armed female soldier asks for IDs. We’re in Israeli territory.
Translator: Charles K.
A visit to Khirbet Jubara
Khirbet Jab’ara is located south of Tulkarm and east of Tayibeh. The separation fence left this small locality on its west side, the Israeli side (there was free access to Israel), but cut it off from Tuilkarm, the district center. Much of Khirbet Jab’ara’s land was taken to erect the small settlement of Sal’it, numbering about 100 families. There was an appeal to the High Court, which authorized moving the fence.
Karin met a woman from a humanitarian organization belonging to the European Union whose headquarters is in Paris and which has offices in Ramallah and in Qalqilya staffed by Palestinians. She told Karin that soldiers at the checkpoints harass young pupils on their way to school. So we decided to visit Jab’ara and hear from the residents what’s going on.
12:30 Te’enim gate. Even though we coordinated our visit with Tedesa, the soldiers at the checkpoint don’t know about it and we must wait more than 20 minutes for them to contact him and get his authorization to open the gate for us after inspecting our IDs. As we approached the isolated house Abu Hassan’s wife emerged to greet us and gave Alex a big hug. She told us her husband had died; her youngest daughter lives with her. She came out through a small gate she opened with a key she had.
13:00 At the grocery
Smiling village children who’ve already returned from school are at the entrance to the grocery. We talk with the owner and other Palestinians who stop by, asking their opinion of the new route of the fence. “Good and bad…” they reply. Some are satisfied, others aren’t. We meet two blacklisted people whose Israeli work permits were cancelled and give them Sylvia’s phone number (we’ll email their details to Sylvia). We attempt to meet the village leadership; Farouk is in Jericho and Awani is in Nablus. Both report there are no special problems.
13:30 We stop the school bus driver after the children have gotten off. He says that a soldier usually enters the bus, inspects and authorizes him to continue. He’s been working for the company five years and has never been required to include the number of the bus on his permit, a new requirement which is very burdensome for him because he often switches buses (because of a breakdown or some other reason).
We try to leave through the eastern checkpoint – the children’s gate – but we’re firmly refused. The gate is only for residents of the village and people with a permit.
14:00 We return to the gate through which we entered – the Te’anim checkpoint. There’s a new shift of soldiers. They don’t permit us to leave the village. More inquiries, more calls to the DCO while we wait in the car. Karin calls Tedesa but the MP isn’t allowed to speak to him, only to his own commander.
About a quarter of an hour passes, the key arrives, IDs come out and the gate opens. Meanwhile we’re amazed at the speed of construction, the bulldozers flattening hills, raising dust and shifting the route of the fence.
It is very hot during the last week of the Ramadan month and the streets of the villages are almost void of vehicles and people.
Habla – the gate is still shut. Two Habla inhabitants + a driver in his car are waiting to enter the village. At the other side there is a vehicle and a few people who are waiting.
The military vehicle arrives. A few moments are spent on getting organized. Those who wish to leave are sent to the checking station, the papers of those entering are checked by the military policeman near the gate.
people (6 men and one woman) are leaving the village. The plant nursery vehicle enters.
Balal, one of those who wished to enter, is checked and detained. He has a work permit for Israel, he lives at Habla, and although his entry permit is for CP 109 he wishes to enter by the Habla CP, because of the heat, the fatigue and the fast. This morning he left for Israel by the Eyal CP. The soldiers remain hardhearted, even a phone call to the CPO is of no avail and the exhausted Palestinian remains waiting. "I have an entry permit to Israel and I don't have a permit to return home" he says and points in the direction of Habla.
We try to explain to the soldiers the absurdity of the situation, ask them for some flexibility, but they remain steadfast: "We obey orders".
A tractor leaves the village and three other Palestinians enter. We notice a group of women who are detained near the gate at the way out from Habla, in the blazing sun. A Palestinian explains that they are on their way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Ramadan.
We leave and take Balal till beyond the Eliyahu CP and return in the direction of Alfey Menashe.
We have parcels with toys for distribution to the children of the Bedouin village Arab A-Ramadin. The joy of the children who fall upon the piles of toys is heartwarming. It is so easy to bring joy to a child's heart.
A military command car and three cars with yellow number plates pass in the village. We have no idea where they are headed to. We continue westwards on road no. 55.
We turn right at Azzun and continue on the road which leads to Tul Karem, passing under road no. 55 (separation by levels) through Jiyus, Kafr Tzur and A-Ras, in order to reach Khirbet Jubara. We have heard about complains by residents, about different matters, and are going to see what chances there are of meeting residents and hearing directly from them. At the T junction where we used to observe, instead of turning right with the road that leads to Tul Karem (under road no. 557, another separation by levels), we continued straight northwards according to the signpost that points to Jubara.
Jubara CP (753) "Life Fabric Gate" – we parked the car on the side and told the soldier who approached us that we wanted to go to Jubara. At first he said that "this isn't here" and then that the passage needed an authorization as there it is "the blue zone" while we were in the "red zone". Behind us there s a red signpost warning not to enter the A zone from the direction we came from. The soldier at the CP explains that one continues on the road and turns left (to Tulkarem) one reaches Zone A. He also explains the known entry regulations to a settlement which is situated in the Juncture Region, he has clear instructions about who is allowed to pass and what it is allowed to pass.
A vehicle arrives and while the driver enters to be checked, the passenger who is with him explains to us that there is a possibility to pass from the village to Israel on foot, on an unpaged road; and also that one has to get an authorization to take across any goods that are beyond the limited personal use. (We heard a lot about this at the time in Ras A-Tira.
Our presence makes him nervous and we are politely asked to leave(.
We returned by the same route to the village of Tzur, at the square we turned eastwards (in the direction of Kur Haja and Punduk). At the turning, before Kur, we turned to the left (northward) on the road leading to Beit Lid and which still isn't marked on the maps.
Beit Lid – we stop at the grocery to buy goods.
Anabta CP – it is quiet, there is little traffic.
Shufa – the blockade on the road turning westwards to Izbat Shufa has been removed, the blocks on both sides of the road enable to movement of vehicles on both sides of the village.
Te'enim CP – cars with Arab drivers are being meticulously checked. The car which passed before us was asked to stop on the right side beyond the CP for a throrough check. We asked to soldiers how is was possible to enter Hirbet Jabara. They directed us to the northern CP "perhaps from there". They also talked about "red Zone" and "blue Zone": they don't understand A. B and C.
"on the Israeli side", south of the CP, there are considerable digging and construction works. For what purpose?
Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim) – cars arrive from which workmen, who return home, descend. The traffic is less lively than on normal days.
We turn to road no. 444 and from there home.
A few details about Hirbet Jabara, A-Ras Kafr Tzur and the Fence:
We knew the village of Hirbet Jabara (three kilometers east of Taibe) when the dividing fence was erected in 2003 and it remained with its 350 inhabitants and most of its lands on the western side of the fence, in the juncture region. Our shifts observed the entrance to the village and to the Bank at the CP (Te'enim) and we witnessed all the changes in the area: The building of a new fence, the roads, the changes at the checkpoints/gates.
Although a short time ater the fence was erected in 2003 the state of Israel decided to change the delineation of the fence in the area and to transfer the village to its eastern side and to join it to the rest of the Bank, it still is separated from Tul Karem, its county seat and the rest of the Bank, and all the restrictions and limitations apply to it. Since the construction of the fence in this area the villages of Peraon (north of road 557) Hirbet Jabara, A-Ras and Tzur appealed a few times to the High Court of Justice against the transit arrangements and especially against the delineation of the fence (the existing one and the one proposed by the security forces and the government of Israel).
One glimpse at the map shows the noticeable deviation of the fence delineation from the green line in this area "owing to the Sal'it settlement in the regional council Shomron. It was established in 1979 as a Nahal settlement, by a Bnei Akiva group, and was made a civilian secular workers' settlement. The colonizing movement: the Herut Betar movement. The declared aim of its establishment was the creation of a buffer between Arab settlements on both sides of the Green Line" (taken from their site). Till 1996 60 families lived there and till today their number incrased to 108.
The different petitions delayed the execution of the modification of the fence's delineation, but the High Court of Justice decision (as far as I understand the last one, dating September 2009) which unified all the petitions, determined that the delineation proposed (by the Government) which isn't based on the future development plans of the two settlements, Sal'it and Zofim, is proportional and must be implemented. The new delineation is supposed to return to the east side of the fence about 2500 dunams from the lands of the villages and the village of Hirbet Jabara, but to leave on the west side 40% of its lands.
The High Court of Justice also orders the military commander, after the setting up of the new delineation, "to reexamine the location of the gates and their opening hours, in accordance with the needs of the farmers and in order to minimize the damage as much as possible". About gate 753 it was said: "There is no disagreement about the illegality of the fence fragment on which the gate is situated, which severely damages the life texture of the inhabitants of the villages adjacent to it. If this segment of the fence is dismantled, the activation of the gate fixed in it will become redundant".
Who knows what happened at Hirbet Jabara since the verdict and why, if the village still is situated in the juncture area, can't we reach it?
Translator: Hanna K.
A hot day during the Ramadan month.
14:40 Irtah CP - Thursday in Palestine is like our Friday, and especially during the Ramadan month. The workmen now return home earlier than usual. They go through the gate and are not being checked in the rooms.
We are told that the checks in the mornings "are sometimes good, sometimes not".
14:55 Jabara CP - Here the guards are still soldiers and not civilians working for a security company.
15:10 Anabta CP - we didn't see any soldiers at the new CP which is splendidly built. (!!!)
15:15 a military truck comes towards us on road no. 57, near the Jit intersection. When looking westwards it is impossible not to see the massive building at the Kedumin settlement.
15:20 The construction of an elaborate night illumination for part of road no. 60 has been completed. All o f I t is designated only to lighten the way for the inhabitants of the Gilad ranch settlement.
On the same road no. 60, towards us comes a military tender, followed by another.
15:28 Huwwara CP - There is a soldier at the guard tower opposite the hitch-hikers station at the way out from the Beraha settlement, there is another soldier sitting at the station itself, at the entrance to this settlement. Another soldiers is at the guard tower at the CP itself.
15:38 Beit Furik CP – we saw no soldiers at the CP.
15:42 Awarta CP – the yellow arm is still shut. There is no possibility to pass from here to Nablus.
16:26 A bit before the Za'tara/Tapuah CP – the blue police checks a Palestinian vehicle.
16:30 Za'tara/Tapuah CP – two soldiers sit in the shade. They do not check. There is no load. New banners intended for the settlers hang on the CP fence. A military vehicle arrives towards us with high lights after we passed the CP, and is followed by another.
16:50- Azzun Atma CP – There are no workmen waiting in the queue on their way home.
We went to check the Tamar Gate, from the direction of Oranit - the gate on the road was closed but, before the turnoff to the Tamar gate, about 20 Palestinians were sitting by the side of the road, watched over by 2 soldiers. Apparently these were illegal entrants who had entered through holes in the fence. The soldiers were getting them up and marching them toward the Tamar Gate. We continued to 'Azzun 'Atma and saw that the Gate in the direction of the road to the Tamar Gate from 'Azzun was already open.
There is work going on in the area, apparently preparations for moving the fence, which was ordered by the High Court.
06:20 'Azzun 'Atma
The line was quite short, since there is usually a line of 50-60 people here; three inspection points and, by 6:40, the line was completely gone. In reponse to our inquiry to Palestinians and soldiers whether there was a decrease in people going through because of Ramadan, we were told that this is not the case.
Four Palestinians were sitting on the side, facing the fence and not the checkpoint - illegal entrants who were caught going through a hole in the fence. Not clear why the holes are not fixed instead of sending soldiers to hunt down Palestinians - it is terrible.
No one is waiting at the checkpoint. We went to the Tamar Gate which was still open (although supposed to close at 06:45), since there were a lot of people and the soldiers said that they would let everyone through. It seems that recently a lot of people prefer the Tamar Gate since there are always long lines at 'Azzun where one has to wait a long time (not today, surprisingly). Those going through mention that, in the afternoon, they return through the gate at 'Azzun Atma. A wagon with a donkey goes through, a car, and finally a herd of sheep.
The gate is already open and about 30 people are still waiting. Lots of arguments about the line; whenever it becomes threatening, the soldiers intervene; they have to settle things themselves. The passage is much slower than at 'Azzun, we don't know why. This magnometer is not something that takes a lot of time, but neverthless, only 20 people go through in 10 minutes under one inspector, and that was the height of speed at this checkpoint by my calculation. At 07:35 there were 10 people left in line, though others join sporadically.
07:45 Eliyahu Gate - no one in the pedestrian line, silence.
A herd of sheep and goats is just going through the checkpoint, going to the west, with a donkey and the lame shepherd. It was amazing to see how the herd stood still for him in silence and waited until the shepherd went through the checkpoint. In fact, the whole checkpoint here was isolated and seemed very strange in this environment - in the middle of Nowhere. The soldiers were sleepy. A vehicle arrived from the East and passed through, after inspection.
Everything is functioning normally, quiet. We came in order to see what is happening with the new fence, and indeed one can see the workers on the route which is alread encompassing Jabara and continues between Sla'it and Kfar Sur. We went up to El Rus in order to see better - the view is beautiful, if only it weren't cut through the middle. What is not clear is how the people of Jabara, El Rus and Kfar Sur will get to their olive orchards which remain outside the fence from their point of view. Will they make a new gate nearer to their lands? Moving the fence this way certainly did not solve their problem of access to their lands, onlly changed it a bit.
Back to Eliyahu Gate with flags - they asked where we were from and then detain us and talk with whoever is or isn't in charge on the telephone. The traffic behinds us gets annoyed and they finally let us through - thanks to the police of the borders for their alertness in preventing harm to the State by 2 elderly women.