'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Habla, Jubara (Kafriat), Sat 17.4.10, Afternoon

Observers: 
Susan L. (reporting); Guest: L.
Apr-17-2010
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Afternoon
Summary
Whose
holiday is it anyway? Excess remains a staple of Independence Day in
Israel: witness the newspaper article on the tons of meat sold in the
days before, and, presumably consumed on the holiday itself. As
MachsomWatchers we note, more tellingly, that there's closureinfo-icon on the
Occupied Palestinian Territories already four days before the holiday,
meaning, of course, Palestinians lose yet more days of work in April.

11:20 Habla Gate 1392
PLEASE
SEE THAT THE GATE CLOSES LATER IN THE EVENING. EVEN WITH THE SUMMER
CLOCK, THERE HAS BEEN NO CHANGE IN THE EVENING CLOSING TIME, AND
ACCORDING TO THE SHEPHERDS, IT'S FAR TOO EARLY FOR THE ANIMALSinfo-icon TO
RETURN AT 6:00 OR 6:30: THEY NEED ALL THE DAYLIGHT HOURS TO GRAZE.

Two
new flags, one Israeli, joined by a black and green standard: the
armored corps is now in charge of the gate, complete with a fully
outfitted second lieutenant (large backpack with phone antenna,
etc.).Inside the Hummer, purring away, its engine running all the time
we're there, a soldier has his feet up on the dashboard.

A
donkey cart waits to pass from the Habla side: no driver visible. Of
course, he's had to leave his charge and go into the little concrete
house to be checked. On our side of the Separation Barrier, a mirror
image, a tractor waits, but soon we see two young men emerge from the
checking structure, and the donkey cart has to turn back.

11:30
-- a silvery Mercedes comes form the Habla side of the Barrier, and the
commander examines it very, very thoroughly. The trunk has already been
opened by the soldier who stands further back from the Barrier, and it
remains open as the driver approaches the officer, who opens doors on
both sides, asks for the engine to be switched off (the jeep's engine
is still running), opens the hood and looks under it, only then letting
the car pass.  We note that the second lieutenant hangs onto the
driver's ID, and we have to assume that he is allowed to pass only on
condition that he returns soon!

A pickup truck with trees, bound
for a nursery, is checked, and, on the side where we stand, a tractor
driver laments, "All the time it's worse." Yes, we can see that today,
and it's been getting worse here over the past few months. Two soldiers
rummage through old clothes in an open wagon, drawn by two horses, one
big, very beautiful, and the other small and also beautiful.

11:35
-- a young boy, carrying a saucepan, wrapped in a black plastic bag, is
waved, from the side where we stand, to the concrete checking house as
other pedestrians, from the Habla side, wait. The usual mantra: "One at
a time, one at a time."  The boy and his saucepan take but two minutes
to get though to the Habla side of the Barrier.
From the far side, a
Father and son, both carrying "overnight" bags. These are thoroughly
examined,  clothes laid out on the dusty, dirty "roadway," as the
commander looms over them. Just then, the man we've nicknamed the
"cowboy" arrives, chats with one of the soldiers, in Arabic, and to us
laments that the only thing to keep everybody going is "Patience." Yes,
but for how long?! Meanwhile, father and son have crossed to the center
of the Separation Barrier, and the cowboy picks up the two bags that
have been brought to him, riding off on his bicycle, but returning
within a few minutes to meet his brand new mare, a beautiful brown and
white horse, complete with new saddle (label still hanging from it).
He's longing  to have photos taken.

11:45 -- the driver of a
huge truck with an even larger load of trees is made to pull out his
tarpaulin, things from the belly of the truck, the officer clambers
into the truck's cab, and the truck lumbers clumsily over the Barrier
to the gate, which is only half open on one side: thoughtfulness is the
second name of the Occupier!  

12::00 Nabi Elias
A
flying, "rolling" checkpoint, a jeep at the southern side of the road
has pulled over a car, and behind it a bus is also waiting to be
checked. We note that, today, only Palestinian vehicles and those
belonging to Palestinian Israelis will be on the road, and there are
plenty of army vehicles that do not, unlike the settlements we pass,
appear to rest on the Sabbath.

Just past Qarne Shomron, at Havat Gilad, an orange sign telling about a Bar mitzvah!

Beyond,
the springtime flowers are still just visible, yellow, purple thistles
and huge white shoots of cow parsley. A spring time countryside slowly
turns to its summer brown.

Shavei Shomron
12:15 an empty checking booth at the orange painted concrete barriers planted across the old roadway to the settlement above.



Deir Sharaf

What's that, besides the name of a village outside
Nablus? A checkpoint? Not a vestige of a checkpoint visible any more.
They came, they conquered, they left.... And we saw...

Anabta
Traffic flows smoothly, police on the apartheid road beyond the checkpoint.

12:50 Jubara
A
long line of Israeli vehicles, which are asked from whence they come,
i.e. today there will only be Palestinian Israelis on the apartheid
roads in the OPT. We are told that it's forbidden to bring in plants
from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, note perhaps this new
"rule," is a result of words being muddled up, since "plants" and
"eggs" rhyme in Hebrew (we've been told, in the past, that eggs cannot
come into Israel proper from the OPT): once more, excess! Beyond the
checkpoint, more police who are monitoring vehicles entering the OPT.