'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Mon 15.3.10, Afternoon
Habla, RasAtiya, Jit, Deir Sharaf, Anabta, Jubarra, Irtah, 15.03.10 pm E only
Observers: Alix W., Susan L. (reporting)
Guests: Sandra J., Howard J.
newly published book, entitled, The Power of Inclusive Exclusion, by
two faculty members of Tel Aviv University, analyzes the Israeli
occupation as a rationalized system of political rule. Unlike the usual
views of the occupation as a twisted form of brutal colonization, a
type of Jewish apartheid, or an inevitable response to terrorism, The
Power of Inclusive Exclusion uncovers the structural logic that
sustains and replicates, maintains and duplicates the regime that is
occupation and that is now over four decades old - hardly an
"occupation" in the usual, temporary sense of the term. Based on what
we, MachsomWatchers, observe today, and what we have monitored over the
years in the OPT, it's an interesting point of view. After all, there
are always new forms of humiliation and harassment, new bans of some
sort or other, new prohibitions or "exclusions."
Palestinian tells us that he can't bring his wife from Habla to "my
lands," and although he has a permit to get to his own property, his
wife doesn't. The soldier explains patiently, "you can call it a
border, if you like, but she can't cross... nobody can cross without
authorization." Since that indeed is the case, and the soldier‘s mind
can't be moved, the car returns to Habla.
A Palestinian in a
newish car tells us that we should come at 6:30 in the morning when the
gate, or gates, are crowded and there are problems.
car with Israeli license plates, yellow, drives along the separation
road, inside are two soldiers. A large tractor, dragging a chain
harrow, prepares the dirt roadway to be smooth and ready for the IDF to
track "infiltrators." Two young men are turned back at the far side of
the crossing point, not allowed to cross, for what reason we can't tell.
-- two minutes earlier than scheduled, the soldiers close all the
agricultural gates, for here at Gate 1392, there are certainly more
than one or two gates to be securely locked - until the next scheduled
On the way to Ras Atiya
Work proceeds apace on the
new roadway/checkpoint, and the new Separation Wall is topped by a wire
fence, which looks electrified.
12:45 Ras Atiya
in the shade under the concrete shelter is a teacher we've met before.
We learn that there is trouble here: teachers can no longer cross by
merely showing IDs, but have to get out of vehicles and pass through
the so-called "checking room"(a concrete windowless structure). This
policy/law (whatever its euphemism) is but a few days old. Moreover,
earlier in the day, because of the pressure of so many people going out
of the village or coming in, the teachers on their way to the nearby,
visible school, the policy/rule was not enforced. But what a difference
now. The chief person/people behind this latest harassment is not Y.
the commander, but his two military police, an especially rude and
officious woman and a man who speaks nonstop to Palestinians, saying,
over and over, "English or Hebrew, not Arabic." In fact, it is the
complete lack of sensitivity to Arab culture that strikes us today in
this occupation which seems to know no bounds. "Honor" is key in
Palestinian society, and teachers are honored, as many used to be in
Western society too. The Palestinian teachers cannot understand why a
new rule is being enforced when they cross this Seam Line every day, to
and from school. Is there no "honor" to teachers, they keep asking. The
soldiers, especially the military policewoman, show not the slightest
consideration or appreciation of anything but their own, ugly way of
Over and over again, we hear from teachers, some young,
some older, mainly men, that they don't want to go into the "checking
room," and demand a reason why they should. They don't understand why
soldiers who know them, who have seen them pass, day in day out, can't
show some consideration to them, as teachers. As for us, the monitors,
we see, once again, that the problems in this part of the OPT lie on
the Seam Line and along the Seam Zone. It is here that the newest and
greatest humiliation and harassment occur every day, and it is here
that the Occupier dreams up and enacts all the latest prohibitions and
Y. defends this newest order, recently received, saying
the soldiers, need to "keep track" of who goes in or out. To us,
monitors, it looks like the exercise of total control. Some teachers
are told that since they refuse to go into the checking room, they can
"go back to the school and sleep there."
13:10 -- another group
of Ras Atiya residents, desiring to return home, is stopped, made to go
to the checking room, but the door is locked! Three people wait - and
13:20 -- the minibus, donated by the Italian
government, with a driver well known to us, as he is to everybody
around here including the soldiers, is stopped. The driver tells that
it was all right in the morning, but now there are problems being
created, that he feels the soldiers are daring the teachers to
demonstrate. Again, the issue of "honor" accorded to the teaching
profession is expressed to soldiers who have no tolerance or
understanding of "the other."
The "mukhtar" of Ras Atira has
been called by the teachers and appears, speaking in his charming,
fluent Hebrew to the soldiers to little avail. The military
policewoman, in particular, is rude and uncouth, the commander standing
back and allowing her to proceed as she will.
suddenly, we see that the minibus, which has been stopped in crossing
the Seam Line road, proceeds across: no one has had to get out of the
bus after all. So, the soldiers gave way - influence of MachsomWatch
and the head of the nearby village?! We are told, in no uncertain
terms, it won't be that way tomorrow.... And if the children have no
teachers who can reach them in the morning, what does the Occupier
14:15 Jit Junction
A Hummer, with Border
Police in attendance, stands in the old checkpoint position, and a line
of four to five cars from Huwarra waits as a Border policeman checks
the first car.
Deir Sharaf, Anabta and Jubara: nothing to report
not a soul, other than civilian security guards in sight: the
"closure," because of "problems" in Jerusalem is in force, meaning that
no Palestinians can reach their jobs in Israel.