'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Qalqiliya, Te'enim Crossing, Mon 27.7.09, Morning
Palestinian workers are still waiting on the approaches to Irtah waiting for pick up. As we get nearer the facility, more and more traffic is visible on the road. On arrival at the facility itself, we speak to Palestinian workers who advise that the situation today was good, they cleared the checkers quickly and with minimum delay. Sunday though, they report, was difficult. We go round to the back and are told that only 2 “windows” are active but there are no delays. Most of the workers have already gone through and the place is quite empty. At around 7.00 the prison visitors start to arrive.
07.10 Shaar Hate’enim
We look for signs of settlers on the road near Avnei Hefetz but do not see any (not necessarily meaning that there are none).
We speak to a taxi driver who advises confidently that he will shortly be receiving a work permit to Israel (after years of working here previously). At the checkpoint, cars are crossing without a problem. We are warned by a soldier not to get close.
08.15 Dir a Sharaf
We note the posters pasted on the concrete blocks by the settlers re. signs of unusual army activity. The soldiers have not removed them. For the most, traffic flows freely and cars with Israeli plates are continuing into Nablus. A couple of cars are stopped and checked in the opposite direction.
After leaving we note construction work going on by the side of the road leading to the main road. We stop and ask one of the operators what they are doing. We are told that they are laying water pipes on behalf of the P.A.
Opposite Shvut Ami we see settlers by the side of the road (tents etc). There is considerable police activity on the road. We stop about a kilometer before the turning to Qalqilya to buy fruit from an impromptu stall by the side of the road. The young dealer introduces himself as Tamr (Tamir he explains) and tells us how he used to work in Bat Yam and has many friends there.
We turn into Qalqilya and at the site of the checkpoint (where the concrete blocks still stand) an army jeep is parked in one of the lanes causing all traffic into and out of the town to be limited to one lane and causing a jam. The soldiers of course are unaware or don’t want to see what is happening. A group of soldiers are building some kind of shelter at the side of the road. What this is, only time will tell! As we leave, the jeep is moved and traffic goes back to normal.