'Azzun, Deir Sharaf, Eliyahu Crossing, Jit, Qalqiliya, Sun 12.4.09, Morning

Observers: 
Esti Tz., Riki S. Trans. Judith Green
12/04/2009
|
Morning
In the early morning we pass through scenery dotted
with checkpoints.  Eliyahu checkpoint, Qaqilya checkpoint.  At
Qalqilya, there is intensive searching of vehicles.  About 12-14 vehicles
wait, heading to Qalqilya, and there are short lines.

According to the checkpoint commander:  they are
trying to get people through quickly and the checkpoint is even open for 24
hours.  A model of etiquette.  An improved model of occupation.

We pass by a road sign pointing to the settlement of
Tzofin. The city of Qalqilya,
with its numerous inhabitants, doesn't show up on any sign, at least not on
this road.

 Azzun:

At the crossroads a group of people is waiting for a
ride or transportation.  The entrance to the village is blocked with a
high sand pile.  This is the single entrance and exit in this direction,
which is the main artery for daily life and work crossing the village.
People have to climb over the high sand heap. We saw with our own eyes a
woman and small child trying to climb over.  The woman fell and tried again.

An elderly man arrives, panting after climbing the
sand barrier with difficulty.  He is on his way to a clinic for treatment
for his heart.  A group of soldiers arrives.  They are all reserve
soldiers;  they say that there had been stone-throwing.  When we
asked how it was possible to be so stone-hearted and block a vital artery of a
whole village, they said that it wasn't their decision.  Why not leave a
path for pedestrians?  Yes, they agreed with us, but they will be out of
here in another few days anyway, thank God, and they don't have any influence.
Those are the orders.  The residents try to remove part of the
barrier all the time, and the IDF returns and reconstructs it.  The youth,
of course, manage to get across, but the really dangerous people - that is, the
women, babies and old people, the sick - they are the ones who are
besieged. 

Beit Iba (transferred to Dir Sharaf)

Today, a roadblock just for vehicles.  The
inspection is sporadic.  We requested to go over in the direction of Beit
Iba (the old checkpoint), but they didn't allow us.  Both the soldiers and
also the testimony of the drivers who arrived from  Beit Iba said that the
previous checkpoint had been totally dismantled and there was free mobility
between the villages.  An Israeli car, with yellow license plates, stopped
and was made to return, as there is no passage for Israelis in the direction of
Beit Iba.  Esti asked to speak with the DCO rep, who had promised us that,
on the day of the dismantling of the Beit Iba checkpoint, we would be allowed
to be present there;  but her conversation had no results.  The
traffic at the new checkpoint was flowing quickly in both directions.
Although they stopped a bus for inspection and, after it, a private car
which arrived from the direction of Beit Iba, we didn't see any pedestrians,
not surprisingly, since the distance to the nearby towns is not walking
distance.  A car from the DCO arrived and we tried to speak with the them
about Azzun.  He also promised politely that he would discuss it.

On the way back, at the J'it junction, there was a
flying checkpoint where a Palestinians were being stopped.

The beautiful scenery slightly reduces our
discouragement and depression.  And then...we meet a Palestinian who works
for human rights organzations in the west bank and he describes for us the
obstacles that the army puts before him, particularly cancelling his travel
permit to Israel which he has always held.  And we immediately remember
that there are human beings and there are those "wanted' by the GSS.