Qalandiya, Mon 2.3.09, Afternoon

Ilana D. Yael I. (Reporting)

 14.30 - 16.30
Beit Iksa, Givaat Zeev
We were four so we decided to split. The two of us wanted to observe the new CP between Beit Iksa and Bidu, of which we heard from the Taxi drivers waiting for workers at the Ramot CP. The road that winds from the main road Jerusalem - Givaat Zeev and goes to Bidu and the other villages in the enclave (Kubeibe, Katana and the rest all the way to Reut), is blocked near Har Shmuel and the drivers have to take a much longer route through the new CP. This route goes along the border line of Beit Iksa and then by the Bedouin dwellings west of Har Shmuel. The CP that probably is designed to stop and search those who come from the enclave, is superbly built; new roads and two roundabouts. Even new road signs pointing towards a Taxi stop, have been put up on both sides of the CP. The cars entering the enclave have not been inspected and neither were we on our way back.
We also went to the Givaat Zeev CP where the workers from the above villages pass in order to build Givaat Zeev. The checkpoint serves only pedestrians. According to one of the soldiers there, 700 - 800 workers pass every day. The working permits for them are being issued at Beit El and given to their employers. The workers have to go via the underpass road to Bir Naballa and then turn back in order to go through this CP. The soldiers looked bored gathered around us. A completely halucinary sight was that of three donkeys carrying heavy sacks coming from the north towards the CP, probably with olive crops. Their masters opened the gate that was not locked and went through to El Gib, the nearest village to the East. When we asked the soldiers if the farmers are not being bothered, one of them answered: "This is not a settlement and there are no settlers here