'Anabta, 'Azzun, Eliyahu Crossing, Jubara (Kafriat), Wed 8.4.09, Afternoon
13.30 The Eliyahu crossing.
From the direction of Qalqiliya a flow of 8 cars and no line from the other side.
Mounds of earth prevent cars passing at the entrance to the village but pedestrians are allowed through freely.
14.20 Deir Sharaf (The barrel checkpoint)
No queue and little traffic which passes with no checking.
On both sides of the road it is obvious that work is being done to widen the road. Olive trees have been torn up, the area straightened and covered with gravel. Because of the work there is no possibility of parking at the side of the road. We went back to the end of the line where we had left the car and went towards the checking post. On our way a truck driver told us that he takes goods from Ramallah to Tulkarm. It takes about one and quarter hours. This morning he left at 9.30 and now, after 5 hours during which he crossed 4 checkpoints he still has not reached his destination.
Long lines in both directions, unmoving. In the direction of Tulkarm is a Hummer next to the checking area which blocks the road. 21 cars wait and others continue to arrive. In the opposite direction it is impossible to know how long the line is. Cars keep arriving but nothing moves. Suddenly the Hummer moves off and immediately steady movement starts with no checking and no delay in either direction. Within 15 minutes the line has disappeared and cars arriving pass at once.
14.55 Jubara and gate 753
Quietly and politely a soldier opens the gate at our request but when we get to gate 753 we are not allowed to pass. The soldiers, are religious with knitted skull caps, surprised at what we are doing but showing attention and good will. We are asked to stand to one side so as not to delay Palestinians cars while they check if they can allow us to pass to the crossroads of Ar-ras. The permission was not granted and we leave without arguing.