These summaries not only prominent events but also the routine of the checkpoints, each of which is observed during a given period. During the many years of occupation, the Israeli Army and the Civil Administration have continually succeeded in tightening their control over the Palestinians living in their land inside the West Bank. Only those with a valid travel permit in their hand arrive at the checkpoints. These permits are mostly obtained with great difficulty and with deliberately imposedbureaucratic obstacles .
The Palestinians’ appalling problems in supporting...
Weekly Digest 27.1.08-2.2.08
Tuesday PM, 29.1.08
A very cold, overcast,
Ezyon DCL. Two 20 years old waiting. One, from Hebron, had
been summoned by the GSS. He had been
inside but was told to wait (in the unheated) reception area and had been
waiting for an hour.
Bethlehem CP. A private security guard at the entrance, 2
windows open, but almost no one passing.
Within minutes, some groups arrived, and passed quickly.
Iba - Israeli contractors' trucks and SUVs again punctuate the CP
landscape.Traffic lights are being installed at the vehicle checking area, and
the new roadway dug up, and re-cemented, for the necessary electrical work. The
dog with its soldier keeper hold up an ambulance, checking whatever there is to
check. A mass of brand new jeans are offloaded from a porter's cart onto the
wet roadway. Three soldiers pat and pat again, three large sacks of flour or
rice on another porter's cart. The newly improved CP has the same kind of large
puddles and sticky mud as after last winter's rains. 14:30. An ambulance
wails its way from Deir Sharaf, and is waved on its way by a soldier and wails
its way into the city beyond. A soldier takes a young man into the lock up and
is followed by the CO who, like his men, exchanges not a word with us. A plethora
of soldiers at the vehicle checking area, as well as at the pedestrian zone.
Everything is thoroughly checked. Brand new blankets, in their transparent
plastic covering, are opened and checked. Bags, briefcases and women's handbags
are invasively entered. Soldiers' hands burrow into the corners, pull out and
study folded papers, fondle yet other carrier bags. Young men, at least 80 in
the lines behind the two turnstiles, have to remove belts, sometimes shoes, and
always coats on this cold winter's afternoon. Many wander into the humanitarian
line to try their luck at passage there. A soldier shout out, in Arabic, non
stop, "Nobody under the age of 45." The rest of the time, he yells in
Hebrew at everybody or bellows questions at all the men, sometimes at women and
children. At the pedestrian checking area, two soldiers stand behind the table,
pointing their guns at the men behind the turnstiles, or poking their guns into
the bags or briefcases proffered for inspection on the table in front of them.
Sunday PM, 27.01.08
13:00 Jubara. The usual blue police car and the usual maze
to get hrough the plastic barricades into the OPT. We were not stopped incoming
but on our return, a soldier told us off.
A-Ras. 2 soldiers running, guns
in hand. They stop a horse and cart,
making it turn back towards 3 men who've walked, on foot from the village. The
men are related. Their story: A horse and cart were stolen, and they found it in the Jubara area fields, and
now want to get back home. All have magnetic cards and permits, but no way can
they go through the village of Jubara, which
is a ghetto for village residents only. Who knows how they got into the village
in the first place. The soldiers don't care. All they know is that these men
must go back to Jubara. The oldest one balks, saying they are not youngsters,
and sits down defiantly as the others proceed back towards the village.
Meanwhile, the soldier in the crow's nest receives telephone instructions that
the soldier left at the CP is on no account to carry out vehicle checking on
his own. So, where there was no line of waiting vehicles from Tulkarm a few
minutes ago, a line now begins to grow. What to do? They can't be in Jubara,
are not residents, have no permits to go through. The idea is that they go to
Taibeh, in Israel proper,
and get to Qalqiliya from there.
14:00 Anabta. No line to Tulkarm, no line from Tulkarm. All
moves quickly when, suddenly, a blue police jeep arrives, and starts stopping
Palestinian vehicles. Police harassment replaces army harassment.Are the men in
the back wearing seat belts?
Qalqiliya, 15:45. 12 vehicles in line towards Qalqiliya are
handled swiftly. Papers of the few Israeli vehicles are checked, one soldier
calling out numbers as the other consults a sheet of paper.The cheery soldier
says that they have received instructions "not to make trouble for the
15:55 Habla. We expected the seam line gate to open at 16:00, but a group
of waiting people say it will only open at 17:00. No
such indication on the gate, whose yellow sign has long, long ago forgotten all
traces of such markings. The greengrocer
says the new hours (17:00-18:15) are
based on the wishes of its users.