Eyal Crossing, 'Anabta, Eliyahu Crossing, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Te'enim Crossing, Wed 10.6.09, Afternoon
Translator: Louise L.
14:20 The checkpoint between Ras-atTira and Ras-Atiya. The village Ras-atTira is under siege between two fences; one separating it from the West Bank (where this checkpoint is situated), the other – the new fence which is being raised next to the houses of the village separating it from its land.
There is very little traffic at the checkpoint. A truck is detained. It has a license and so has the goods, but the driver, who lives in the village, does not have a permit. The truck returns the way it came. Hisham, the head of the local council, explains: each day there are new rules. The list of vehicles having a permit to transport certain kinds of goods is changed. It creates confusion and makes it even harder to cope with the siege.
We enter the village. We see the area where only a few days ago we were sitting in the shade of the olive trees. Now it is all “cleaned off”. The fence being constructed separates between Ras-atTira and its land next to the settlement Alfei Menashe. The only way the landowners can reach their land just outside their houses, is through a gate a few kilometers further away. The way leading along the agricultural land is also completely destroyed. Hisham looks quite desperate.
15:40 The Eliyahu passage
There are 3 lines of vehicles (about 25) at the exit towards Israel.
The checkpoint is empty and there are no soldiers.
16:15 Te’enim passage at Jubara
The soldiers – from the reserve forces – have no idea about the procedures. They ask for our ID cards, and tell us that we will get them back on our return. We give them our ID cards and wait for the gate to open. In the meantime we call the brigade headquarters, but there is no answer.
16:35 We get our ID cards back, but we are not permitted to drive through. We phone again, but this time to the battalion headquarters and explain that we have a permanent permit from the brigade commander. Still, we do net get a permit, so we decide to leave. (When we return from Anabta at 17:00 the permit has arrived and we enter.)
The road is wide, clean and new. There is no sign of the olive trees that have been uprooted. The traffic is flowing without inspection. The soldiers – from the reserve forces – are polite and kind. When we ask if they check the cars the answer is: about one in a hundred. They appreciate what we are doing and are happy to inform us that soon they will be home!
17:00 Te’enim gate
The soldier receiving us is embarrassed: The permit has just arrived. He says: “You are good guys. I really appreciate what you are doing”. He opens the gate.
17:10 Gate 735 (The Children’s Gate)
A smiling reserve soldier explains: In the morning the people leaving for work are checked, and in the evening the same people are checked on their way home. In the evening there are also many illegals, who left the surroundings of Jerusalem in the morning and who return through this checkpoint in the evening. We don’t detain them and let them through without any problems.
17:30 Eyal checkpoint
At the entrance there is a new fence along the lane where pedestrians enter, and a large open gate for vehicles, which can close easily. People arrive in groups and hurry to the checkpoint. The traffic is flowing. There are no delays. Cabs are waiting at the exit towards the West Bank. There is also a stall with fruit and pita bread. At the entrance to the checkpoint (on the Israeli side) there are already about 10 vans ready to drive the workers tomorrow morning.
17:45 We leave.