'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Eliyahu Crossing, Huwwara, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Ras 'Atiya, Wed 2.12.09, Morning

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Nora R., (reporting) Hadas P, guest, Bracha B Translating



06:00 – Workers who have the right to cross here are crowded on the other side of the Eliyahu Crossing.  “The guy in charge of the line” - who does the job on a volunteer basis - says that about 150 workers go through here each morning.  Three or four workers are let in each time and it takes 5-8 minutes to check them.  They claim that “today everything is OK.”  To us it appears to be very slow.

06:50 – Ras Atiya – For some reason (the soldier explains, “There’s a suspicious object) the route opened late and Palestinians began to go through the turnstile  leading to the inspection area only after 7:00.  At the same time the soldiers began checking vehicles going in both directions.  Cars are checked meticulously.  One of the soldiers is busy with morning prayers but while is praying he calls to the others and demands that they make us leave.  We remained standing where we were and insisted that we were not disturbing anyone.  People coming out from being checked undergo another check when they reach the exit gate. 

“Were you in one of the rooms?” “Show your certificates…”  the soldier ends his prayers cannot restrain himself and continues to shout at us, calling us traitors, claiming that we are stabbing the country in the back, and that we should have “Arab” written on our I.D. cards etc. etc. 

The bus with children arrives and when we speak with the driver we understand that he drives children from the Bedouin tribe to school in Qalqilya.

.08:20 – Huwara: It is generally very quiet.  The soldiers arrive and warn us not to get close (to what?).  Checks are slower at the exit from Nablus and there is a line of cars.  There are two cars waiting at the side of the road.  The checkpoint commander explains that their I.D.s are being listed for interrogation and they will check and see…The taxi was immediately released and after two minutes the cars were also allowed to leave.  The Palestinian shouts to us from his car that he has been detained here since 07:00. 

Suddenly an order comes in and meticulous checks begin at the entrance to Nablus.  All men’s I.D.s are checked against a list containing three numbers (wanted men?) .  After several minutes a line of cars begins to form.  One of the inspectors is suspicious and the longer the check takes the longer the line of cars grows.  All efforts to move the soldiers are in vain.  A phone call to the Humanitarian Hotline does not help at all.  We left at 10:25 and counted 105 cars waiting in line!  The line continues beyond the entrance to the road leading to the checkpoint.

10:40 – Anabta: Three jeeps are standing next to the tower but no one is being checked. 

11:00 Irtah: I show my guest the entrance route and discover that several people have arrived who are trying to get in.  The turnstiles are closed and they are not allowed to go in.  I couldn’t understand why.  We left frustrated (I am not feeling very well.)