Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Thu 19.8.10, Afternoon
Before we got to the checkpoint, near Khirbet Sir, we were surprised to see from afar a very large new building on the hills. Passersby said that this is an enclosure for goats but we did not believe this. We were inquisitive and made several attempts to get there and saw that is was truly a temple for goats.
16.15 Falamiya West (agricultural gate) checkpoint. Open from 05.00 – 17.00 without a break.
10 workers who have gone through the checkpoint are waiting for their transport.
They have been fasting for 12 hours and that after a day of work in the za'atar fields, sweating and exhausted. Their main complains. Each morning when they go through to work their names are noted down in the computer. In the afternoon the soldiers are supposed to do the same. But often they write down the names on a cigarette or match box and say that they will put it into the computer later on. The next morning they come and are not allowed to pass and the claim is that the previous day they came back and did not register as they should.
The Palestinians have to pay the price. To go to the DCO where they are warned not to transgress again. But who actually has broken the law? Who was careless? Contempt? Forgot? And how can they prevent the same thing happening tomorrow? They claim that this happens several times a week and each case causes the lack of the day of work. “We are sick and tired of this. Season after season. The farce continues.
On our way to the village of Jamal we see that the Falamiyas' northern checkpoint is closed.
We are told that it is only opened for workers going to work in nearby Salit settlement when the residents there have need of them. They also see to the necessary permits. So it turns out that this checkpoint is opened only at the demand of the settlesrs…Lords of the land,
We went on through Kafr Jamal, Kur and from there to Beit Lid and went west to Saffarin.
From there on a bad road we arrive at the place where in the past there had been a barricade in the direction of Shufa. We could see the road which in the past had naturally joined Saffarin and Shufa and today loses its role as the simple connection between two Palestinian villages.
In its place is the main road/Jewish which has been laid between Einav and Avne Hefetz.
On this road we saw two army jeeps.
At the Jubara checkpoint we were told that it seemed that because of Ramadan Israeli Arabs are allowed to travel to Tulkarm through Nitztanie Oz and on the way back they do not always have to go back through the Anabta road but they can shorten the journey through Farun straight to Jubara.
17.30 We came to Irtah. No delay. The workers arrive and go through without being checked.
They complain that the overcrowding in the mornings is still horrible and they are pushed together like animals,.
We tried to photograph the guard who stands at the window on the top floor pointing his rifle directly at the passersby below, the place were we stood. He got mad and sent us off.