'Anabta, 'Azzun, Deir Sharaf, Eliyahu Crossing, Jubara (Kafriat), Mon 24.8.09, Morning

Observers: 
Yael S. Zahava G. (Reporting); Translation: Bracha B.A.
24/08/2009
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Morning

Checkpoint 109

06:30 - "Eliyahu Crossing"  - Workers going to Alpnei Menasheh are going through in orderly groups of five.  A staff member sends them through to the turnstile where their documents are sent.  Most are from Qalqilya, Azun, and Mar Elias.

It is now Ramadan, and people are not carrying food with them to work.  We can talk to people a bit.  The atmosphere is calm and there is no pressure.  Most work in construction (has construction in the settlements been halted?)  Women coming through probably work cleaning houses. 

Ras Atiya

07:15 - It is quiet and calm.  Three bored soldiers check cars going east.  Drivers live in Israel but are permitted to travel only in the occupied territories. 

Azzun

07:40 - The western entrance road leading to the industrial area is open.  The main entrance road is blocked with a high mount of earth and rocks.  Pedestrians cannot get through there either.   Is this a punishment for some terrible sin that the residents committed or upon request of the neighboring settlers?

The Road East

7:45 - We continue on the main road and near "Ma'aleh Shomron" at the junction a bus passes opposite us with yeshiva students entering the settlement.  The question is if it is part of the general bad behavior of the drivers or whether they saw our flags. 

07:55 - There is a hummer parked at the side of the road at the Jit Junction.  There are no soldiers in the surrounding area and traffic is flowing.

Deir Sharaf

08:00 - Traffic is flowing and there are even dog handlers to check and train the dogs.  We didn't see them stopping anyone, not even cars with Israeli license plates that could continue on to Nablus.  When we asked if we could go on to Shavei Shomron we were told we could not.

Anabta

08:17 - There are no cars going into Tulkarem and those going out are not being held up.  For a change no soldiers are running towards us to warn us that we have to leave because we are disturbing them.  Our explanation for this is that since this checkpoint has been renovated and made into a model of the good life, the soldiers don't leave their air-conditioned booths.  They harass the Palestinians less and both sides benefit. 

Jubara

08:35 - The "Te'enim" Gate is opened quickly by a polite officer and at checkpoint 753 several wagons and horses pass through.  There is one detainee and there is a problem.  He explains that his I.D. card fell into the water and therefore it looks battered.  The checkpoint commander claims that it is forged and that the photograph has been pasted in place of the original photo.  He did not show us the I.D.  Even if this is true, we know that it is very difficult and expensive to purchase a new I.D. and "renovating" an old I.D. can often provide a temporary solution.

The commander called the police.  We wait.  After more than a half hour of waiting for the police we suggested that the commander complain about us and say that we are disturbing and from our past experience they would come quickly, but he does not cooperate.  The detainee did not speak Hebrew and he did not have a phone, so we could not follow up the situation.   

Habla

09:45 - The agricultural checkpoint was already locked.  There was no one around to ask and no sign announcing when the gate is opened and closed for farmers.