'Anabta, Habla, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Mon 30.8.10, Afternoon
When we arrived we saw a group of five men entering to be inspected. They trickled out and crossed without delay. A truck carrying seedlings was also inspected and crossed without any unusual delay.
16:05 Southern Falamya gate
We entered Azzun through the main entrance, turned right under Route 55 and drove toward Jayyus. Instead of entering Jayyus we turned right toward the village of Jamal, and after driving for about 1 ½ kilometers turned left onto a dirt road that led us straight to Falamya gate, on which “Gate 927” is written in big letters. It’s not easy to find one’s way in the area, and we got lost a few times. We received directions by phone from Nina Seba, who’d already been there, and Na’im el-Bada, from Jayyus, whom we met on the way in Jayyus, also helped.
If you want to reach Falamya gate, don’t miss the turn onto the dirt road, which is located about 100 meters past a road that goes steeply uphill. At the turnoff to the dirt road are signs belonging to foreign organizations such as FUNDESOR, aecid, UAWC.
This is an agricultural gate, open from 05:00 until 17:00. Everything appears quiet and calm. It serves primarily villagers from Jayyus, Jamal and Falamya. The soldiers told us they don’t see any problems; they know all the local farmers who enter with their ID cards. Children younger than 16 wishing to help out, and are too young to have ID cards, are allowed to bring the ID card of one of their parents.
We continued to the Western Jayyus gate, that’s nearby. It was closed. It’s open between 18:00 – 18:30 in the afternoon.
17:50 Anav checkpoint, via the villages of Khaja and Al-Funduq
From Jayyus we drove back up to the nearby village of Jamal. We turned left at the central plaza. From the road down from the plaza you can see the security fence on the left. After about four kilometers there’s a junction at which we turned right toward Kur (if we’d gone straight we’d have reached Tulkarm). After turning right we drove straight for about seven kilometers to the village of Khaja, which adjoins Al-Funduq.
Driving through this region, you get the impression that it’s quiet and calm. No settlements are visible. The area is open and the minarets of the village mosques rise above the hills. We have to admit that the residents also seem calm and quiet. They’re more relaxed. People riding bicycles alongside others on donkeys. Something about their body language expresses greater self-confidence. Not like in Khaja and Al-Funduq that are right next to Qedumim, where the suspicious looks of people were allayed only by the flag on our car.
After driving through the villages we rode on Route 55 to Jit junction, and turned left onto Route 60, going north to the Anav checkpoint (Anabta), and from there via the Te’anim checkpoint to the Ephraim crossing.
18:20 Ephraim crossing
The crossing is almost empty, very few people going through. The checkpoint closes at 19:00, and given that daylight saving time ended early because of Ramadan it seems that most people are getting home by this hour.