Eliyahu Crossing, Huwwara, Qalqiliya, Sun 21.6.09, Afternoon
The parking lot that was always overcrowded is half-empty. Drivers say they can’t make a living and put their faith in God.
The pedestrian checkpoint is empty. From time to time a few women go through without being inspected.
A military policeman approaches us. At first we thought he was coming to tell us we had to move back from the checkpoint area, but he wants to know how we are, make sure we have water and drink enough, wear hats so we don’t get dehydrated, God forbid.
We looked for the general’s order but didn’t find it.
The automobile checkpoint is almost empty.
16:30 When we were about to leave, two paratroopers reminded us that the army was still in charge, and that we should have no illusions that there have been any significant changes.
Ahmad, who helps his father sell candy and a few drinks from their cart, hurried after him. As he crossed the vehicle checkpoint area two soldiers rushed out at him, shouting that he should go around, and if he dares cross there again he’ll be sorry. When I asked why they don’t let him join his father – after all, it’s very quiet here – they said, “There are rules; that’s how it is.” I said there are rules and there are also people; they replied, “There aren’t people here, only animals.” That made me angry, and a bitter, unnecessary argument ensued.
16:45 We decided to go via Eliyahu gate. On the way we saw that the road to Sara was open. Disbelieving, we decided to drive up the hill, and of course found the entry blocked by boulders, next to the familiar yellow steel gate.
The Qalqilya checkpoint is fully open. Only one soldier observing from above.
17:15 The Eliyahu gate is empty and quiet.