Eyal Crossing, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Tue 21.9.10, Afternoon
Habla. The gates are shut. About 12 people are waiting in the shade of the caravan, three carts hitched to horses, and on the other side two buses of schoolchildren (one of boys, the second of girls) two trucks, and pedestrians. The sun blazes and the soldiers are nowhere to be seen.
We call the DCO – no reply.
A hummer arrives. 5 men and women soldiers descent, laughing and jubilant. Why were you late we ask, "there was a mess…" they reply and laugh.
The gate nearest to us is opened. A soldier says: "hi everybody, the show begin" but they are in no hurry to open the other gates. We ask what the matter is and the soldiers answer that we disturb them and that we should retreat.
Very slowly the 3 gates are opened. The papers of the bus driver are being checked. The first 5 Palestinians pass on to the checking station. Karin calls the EAPPI representative on the other side of the CP. What she has to say is that this is the soldiers' last day at the CP and that this probably is the reason for the arrogance and disregard, they are there because our morning shift reported on problems.
The first cart owner passes to the village and five Palestinians enter the checking station, in the direction of the village. A Palestinian who waits in the caravan says to us: "do you see that they do to us? Why?" (indeed, why?!). A tractor passes, another five people and a truck. The two buses, with the children are still waiting inside the buses, in the terrible heat. Three grown up children are made to leave the bus. The luggage compartment too is checked. On our side is the representative of the Bedouin village, the only one who remained on this side of the fence. Since the new separation fence at the Alfey Menashe enclave has been completed, his children are forced to undergo this drilling every day on their way to school and back to their homes.
Finally one bus pass, after a waiting time of about an hour. The bus driver tells us that the children who were made to leave the car, have authorizations only for gate no. 109 (Eliyahu CP). He stops to wait for the second bus' the small children who haven't left the bus for a whole hour, use this stop in order to freshen up and to drink water from a pipe in the field. The second bus (the one with the girls) passes aswell and stops.
The buses leave.
Eliyahu passage – the traffic flows.
On the way to the agricultural gate of H' Assla: we turn right from road no. 55 before Azzun, take a hitch-hiker to Izbat Tabib and ask about the problems in the village, where there is a little agriculture and a few hers. He tell us that they don't get building permits. He directs us to the house of Bian the head of the local council. In the courtyard of his house Bian tell us also about the shops that have been demolished, on which we have reported in our report of the 1st of September 2010. (Opposite Izbat Tabib a few shops near the road with a ruined front. The tenant of the shops tells us that the owner of the place, a rich collaborator, sent at night, without a demolition injunction, criminals to destroy the place. Since 21 years he manages shops for car appliances, toys and building material, and supports his expanded family (about 40 people) and now he remains penny-less, after the first payment to the lawyer and the court). He asks us to join him and go to the place, to listen to all the details and to help them. According to him friends and even "internationals" guard the place at night. But as I have already been there and have reported on the matter we decide that it is senseless to go there again.
He also complains about soldiers who enter the village, during the day and at night and create havoc…they stop children and grown-ups. Another burning issue is the fact that they don't obtain any building permits, for private house and the school. They began building an annex to the school and received an order to stop the work. Only three years ago the school was opened, and it has 7 classes only. There are 300 people in the village. He opens a door which leads to a room attached to his house which serves as kindergarten for 7 children. In the room there are 7 small tables but no toys.
We continue to Hirbat Asla, in order to reach the agricultural gate one has to turn right at the entrance to the village, and thus at each junction and intersection. At the end of the paved road there is a dirt road (its beginning is defective) 400 meters in length which leads to it. A pleasant captain tells us that the gate is opened for a quarter of an hour from 15:30 to 15:45 and about 3-4 people only pass through it. Today a shepherd with his sheep flock passed.
We turned to Eyal. At the Eliyahu Passage we are asked to show identity cars.
Eyal Passage – Northern Kalkilya. The last day before the long closure. Many transportation means bring many Palestinians, but all pass without delays.
Tzofim CP – the gate is open. Only 2 cars pass.
We return to road 55 in the direction of El-Punduk and then southwards to Emanuel.
On leaving the village of Hares a young man approaches us and tells us that two months ago soldiers stopped him on the charge of throwing stones (probably somebody informed on him) he was imprisoned in the Megiddo prison, was hit on the head and on other parts of his body, and he was hospitalized in the Belinson hospital. He adds that he has met Dalia and told her his story. We gave him a visiting card of MW with a phone number of a person who talks Arabic, in the hope that he'll get help in getting back the work permit he at in Barkan.
Samaria Gate. At the exit the traffic flow, but at the entrance there is a very long convoy of cars.