'Atara, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 14.6.09, Afternoon
Now is the season for kits and Baladi apricots
15:30- Many vehicles were driving through at the front of the vehicle checkpoint: there were three vehicles lines that become one line. They were all stuck in a traffic jam around the and on the square.
-A new sign greeted those entering, it notified that it is obligatory that those returning back to the West Bank after one day, to write their name down on the list. We were told that the new machines were still being tested, and that when they do start using them, it will make things even harder on the Palestinians, there will be lines by the machines and the waiting time will grow longer.
At the pedestrians checkpoint three inspection posts were open, even though there were many soldiers hanging around the sterile zone. The pace was slow and the attitude towards the Palestinians was degrading:
Inside the checkpoint where we waiting, the soldier spoke to the Palestinians with very bad Arabic. When they didn't understand her orders and didn't respond to them, she got angry and started yelling at them in Hebrew. From time to time, as she was chewing the gum in her mouth, she held a sing along. The mixture of languages which she used to hand out orders, yell and sing, filled the checkpoint.
And what about the Palestinians? - They kept going as they always do: indifferent and patient.
The reserve sodleirs that manned the checkpoint stuck to their orders and stopped every vehicle that had yellow plats in order to check the nationality of those in it.
(as mentioned in the previous report: Israelis/Jews are prohibited from driving on to the west according to the decree from 2006 that Yair Nave had issued).
We headed on to see the checkpoints that had been removed:
From road number 60 in the direction of the settlement "Ma'ale Mihmash" and it's surrounding settlements, we hopped to find relics of checkpoint that once was there:
The road was indeed open, no one was detained or inspected. The "New Jersey" parts that were used to construct a blockage were moved aside, leftovers from IDF food was scattered on the side of the road together with a copy of the journal "Bamachane".
Once the construction of the checkpoint remained, and on it an Israeli flag was waving.
But once the camera was pointing towards the pillbox we found there were signs of life: a hand came out of the window and then a man's voice was heard: "Oh no- put that camera down!"
Atara/ Bir Zait checkpoint
The military presence was more noticeable and we didn't have to raise our head to the top of the tower to see them: in between the walls of the construction a military vehicle was hiding and soldiers were looking out at us from a crack between the vehicle and the wall.
The Palestinians waved at us, they made a V sign with their fingers and yelled to us with joy at they seized the open road for a more speedy driving.
We waved back at them, knowing (and they probably knew this as well) that this good fortune is only temporary.
Is there a checkpoint? - Is there no checkpoint? - For how long with this "no checkpoint" remain?