'Anabta, 'Azzun, Deir Sharaf, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Te'enim Crossing, Mon 22.2.10, Morning

Observers: 
Ronny S., Shoshana Z., Nina S. (reporting) Translator: Charles K.
Feb-22-2010
|
Morning

6:40  Habla gate.  Soldiers open the gate; the door to the inspection booth is open but the soldiers are carrying out the inspections from their jeep.  The crossing is quick and well-organized.  A few carts went through with equipment, a pickup truck, a truck, a tractor, and everything went quickly. 

7:10  Ras-a-Tiya gate.  No people on line.  Those who arrived while we were there went through quickly. 

7:30  Eliyahu crossing

About 50 people on line.  Some Palestinian taxis and cars that went through are waiting on the Israeli side for those coming through on foot.  People complain that it takes a long time to cross.  We timed how long it took to get through – 8 people went through in 10 minutes.  In other words, it will take more than an hour for those currently on line to get through, and they’ve already been waiting a long time.  We contacted the humanitarian office and asked for their intervention.  The Palestinians report that there’s only one person inspecting, unlike other days.  The soldiers tell us they don’t have more manpower and can’t add inspectors. 

8:15  Azzun.  The entrance is open. 

8:20  Funduq.  An army jeep is parked at a corner in the village center.  Four soldiers next to it, weapons drawn.  Ready for action, “supervising” the devil knows what.  Life continued normally around them. 

8:25  Route 60, at the junction with the new road to Shavei Shomron.  Much activity at the final section being paved.  10 trucks, 3 tractors and many workers.  Where does the money for this nonsense come from (a shortcut from Shavei Shomron to Route 60, shortening the distance by perhaps 200 meters)?  From the Israeli taxpayer, of course, since we have such a large surplus. 

8:30  Route 60, at the entrance to the Shavei Shomron camp.  The road is blocked, as is the way up to Sebastiya. 

We talked to the owner of the café/grocery in Deir Sharaf, who told us that they asked the army and the DCO to open the road up to Sebastiya, but without success. 

9:15  Anabta.  The checkpoint is open.  Trucks unload concrete cubes, apparently protection for the pillbox.  We understand from this that even if the checkpoint isn’t operating it is still expanding and, what’s most important, the contractors have work. 

9:30  Te’anim crossing.  They agreed (even though yesterday they refused) to find out whether we could go up to the village.  Fifteen minutes later we received permission to enter Jubara.  No one is waiting to cross the children’s checkpoint at the edge of he village, everything is quiet, calm, pastoral. 

10:00  Irtah – Efraim gate.  The locals tell us the gate opens at 04:00.  During the day there’s a trickle of people crossing, primarily merchants.  They say that from time to time the checkpoint closes for about half an hour.  A man working there, full of self-importance, said that the checkpoint is open continuously. 

A note regarding the barrels checkpoint – which I don’t think is worth a separate report.  It was open, and on our way back an army jeep was parked there “supervising” the crossing.