'Anabta, 'Azzun, Eliyahu Crossing, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Qalqiliya, Ras 'Atiya, Mon 19.10.09, Morning
06.30 Ras A-Tiyyah
The checkpost is quiet and there are very few people around - one car and one Palestinian on horseback are going through from our side.
We leave after 15 minutes and meet some schoolchildren on their way on foot to the crossing.
- 07.15 Eliyahu crossing
Quiet. Very few workers are seen waiting to go through.
- 07.20 Qalqilya
No lines. We try to see if there is anyone in the guard box. The top of a head is barely visible. We park and approach on foot. The soldier gets to his feet. Did we wake him?
- 07.30 Azoun
The entrance is open and there is no sign of the previous week's blocked entrance apart from mounds of dirt at the sides of the road and discarded barbed wire.
We continue on the way looking for olive-pickers in the groves by the sides of the road but it appears that most of the picking has finished.
- 07.45 Jit junction
The junction is empty.
- 08.15 Anabta
There are long queues of traffic on the way to the checkpost due to road repairs which are being performed by an Israeli company. Despite many trucks parked at the side of the road before the junction (presumably connected to the road repairs), the checkpost is virtually deserted and no signs of life are visible. The structures are all standing abandoned and equipment is left standing unattended (a water trailer, microphone in the booth etc). What a waste of the thousands of sheqels poured into creating this unwanted checkpost.
- 09.0 Irtah
On our way back we decide to take a look at the "back-to-back" which is operating in full swing. We proceed on to the crossing and see lots of construction in progress. The crossing itself is very quiet due to the late hour.