'Anabta, Eliyahu Crossing, Qalqiliya, Mon 8.6.09, Morning
Translator: Louise L.
6: 30 Ras Atiya
The gates are still closed. The soldiers arrive. Everything is slow. 3 cars are waiting for the workers outside the gate and 2 cars are waiting to enter. There are cars and workers waiting to leave the village. The soldiers are talking to each other.
6:50 The first workers pass. The first car waiting to get out of the village is sent to park between the gates and the driver is sent to the line of pedestrians waiting for the magnetometer.
7:05 5 workers have passed so far.
A driver from Ras Atiya is waiting for his workers. They work at the Shalom plant nursery, supposedly on Israeli territory. He is unhappy with the position of the new fence, which means that his village is under Palestinian authority again, and he has to pass a checkpoint and make a long bypass in order to reach the nursery.
The checkpoint commander, a polite and kind captain, turns to us asking if we are o.k. When we complain about the gate opening so late, he tells us that he has only been for a week at the checkpoint, that something went wrong this morning and caused this delay. He is in the permanent forces and his soldiers serve in the regular forces. He says that he has the same opinion as we have. On our way back we drive along the new fence leading through the olive groves and leaving its ugly mark close to Ras Atiya.
7:35 The passage at Eliyahu There are still workers passing through and a line of cars waiting to enter Israel.
The passage is open. Two reserve soldiers are guarding the gate to the base. The passing drivers are waving to us. We drive on towards Nablus.
8:55 Electric installations and roadwork are still going on. The temporary checkpoint is very close to the junction, and when there is a line it gets blocked. A policeman tells a Palestinian he has to pay a fine of 1000 NIS. The man, who is talking on his phone without a speaker, and our guest do not understand what right an Israeli policeman has to make a Palestinian pay a fine while he is driving on Palestinian territory in a car with a Palestinian license plate…
There is no checking at the exit from Tulkarem. At the entrance mostly cars with Israeli license plates are being checked.
9:15 A Palestinian cab is stopped at the entrance, a young man is ordered out and told to wait on the side. Another cab is stopped and 3 men are ordered to get out. The cabs are waiting on the side of the road in the sun with all the passengers, and the young men are sent one after the other to talk to an unknown person in a car parking at the far end of the checkpoint.
9:30 The first man returns after the investigation and the cab drives on.
9:34 A pickup truck is stopped and one young man is ordered out. A reserve soldier offers sweets from a box to the people in the car. They refuse.
9:39 The last detainee returns and the cab drives on.Meanwhile the traffic is flowing. Cab drivers, who are waiting for the workers, tell us that the “Barrel” checkpoint and the checkpoint at Shavei Shomron are open 24 hours, and that at night there are no soldiers at all.
9:45 We leave.