Habla, Ras 'Atiya, Sun 2.5.10, Morning
6.50 Those coming out of the checkpoint with whom we speak say that it opened today at the correct time, 6.45. When we get to the gate it is raining strongly. People stand crowded in the checkpoint most of the them without head coverings. There is shouting and fisticuffs which comes mainly from the line. They stand 5-8 to the place of the checking, stand there a few minutes, not a long time but most of the people stand exposed to the rain. A heavy vehicle passes and the owners get out to be checked as well as a horse and cart.
7.30 Ras Atiya
About 25 people in line. We try to get close to them but of course are pushed off by the soldiers.
7.45 A young man comes out of the checkpoint and complains that he waited an hour. He says that some teachers are stuck in the line. Classes are supposed to begin at 7.45.
7.47 3 pupils come out but otherwise there is no movement.
7.55 We phone the Humanitarian Centre about the teachers who have not been freed. They promise to check but nothing happens and we phone again 10 minutes later.
The brother of the head of the village Ras Atira stands with us. He shows us (from afar) the principal who has not passed the checkpoint and is on his way back to the village. He says that he is prevented but that in his ID it is written that he is allowed through. It is not clear why he is prevented from dong so. From what he says many of the village have already been prevented from passing for 12 years including the members of their family, except for his brother who is the head of the village. But in 2001 a star was added to their documents which was supposed to allow them to travel. He tells that at on last Thursday at 4.30 pm his cousin came through the checkpoint with a baby of two months in her arms and her other small children. She had taken her sister's ID by mistake and even though her own ID was brought to her she was arrested, taken with her baby to Kedumiem and from there to Ariel . She "enjoyed" the time there until 21.30 and then was only freed after paying 1500 bail. He himself had had problems at the checkpoint even though the star was supposed to allow him to pass. The soldier (the commander?) had advised him to come to him when the those going out had exited and he was waiting to speak to him.
A Palestinian who came out told us that the commander, Lior, was difficult. Others told us that since our arrival the checking had speeded up.
A teacher who came through .........said that teachers who were pregnant had to go through the x-ray device. Before they had only been searched by hand. They refuse and go back to the village.
8.20 4 teachers come out and go to the school with the driver who is waiting for them. 4 teachers are still at the checkpoint.
2 trucks at the checkpoint.
8 old cars without licenses in the parking lot. Some of them who may still be able to move are encircled with barbed wire. The soldiers whom we ask either do not know or do not want to know why. Suddenly a noise, a commotion. A car travels swiftly to Nablus, passes another car and blocks its way. The people in the car which has passed are in civilian dress but have weapons and it seems that these are the secret police. They take the keys of the car from the Palestinian. He seems frightened and alarmed. He startst to shout at them and curses. About 10 minutes later he is allowed to go into Nablus but with a report. (Is this legal. Are the secret police allowed to give reports?)
10.35 Za'tara. No lines.