ארתאח (שער אפרים), חבלה, יום ב' 18.10.10, אחה"צ
The heat is incandescent. About ten people waiting at the entrance to the checkpoint. The bus carrying the girls from the Bedouin village waits on the other side. One of the people waiting tells us there’s a detainee in the inspection room, and at that moment we hear shouts from the building
Ten minutes later two soldiers come out to the gate. One of them has his rifle drawn. But all he wants is for the Palestinian to give him a light
Only after a few minutes it seems the person detained inside is released, and soldiers tell people to come in three at a time. The soldiers seem to know those coming through, and generally behave politely to them
On the other hand, we hear loud and very unpleasant shouts coming from a female MP in the inspection building
Meanwhile the bus driver has come out of the building, the soldiers inspect the luggage compartment and the bus with the girls goes on its way after having waited more than half an hour. We called the soldiers’ attention to the fact that these are small children sitting in a bus without air conditioning. The girls wave to us
Light traffic inside, a bicyclist with a package, a tractor loaded with sacks that undergo a superficial inspection
We continue toward Azzun, and on the way see the miserable tin huts where the girls we saw on the bus live
The yellow gate at Azzun is open; we enter and turn north under the road
The grocery store we use as an information center is closed today. We stopped next to a Bedouin guy living right next to the fence. He gave us a cold drink and we saw the fence literally below us. His land is on the other side, about 500 meters away, where he raises sheep. To reach his land these days he has to take a taxi to Qalqilya and go through the Zufin checkpoint. This family is lucky. Since he lives on his pasture land and was not listed as a resident of Jayyus, he received a permit to go daily to his lands and even sleep “in a closed military area.” (In this case – a name given to a civilian area in the “seam zone,” where people need special permission to be found on their lands). His uncle, who’s a resident of Jayyus, wasn’t as fortunate. From the outset – the initial route of the fence left his house and lands located completely within the seam zone. Although he was cut off from his usual surroundings and had to go through checkpoints for medical treatment, employment, education, etc., he continued to work his land. When the High Court of Justice ordered the fence moved farther east, his house was now east of the fence but his land remained to the west. Since he has only a contract to purchase the land, but it isn’t registered to him in the tabu, he didn’t get a cultivation permit and lost the land. The uncle died ten days ago.
15:50 – The gate is open from 05:00-17:00. People from Falamya cross, as well as those from Jayyus who have permission to do so. The checkpoint is manned by reservists sweating in the heat, usually with nothing to do. A few dozen people in the morning, dribs and drabs during the day. Does this indicate the residents of Falamya received very few permits? It’s worth finding out. By the way, the soldiers also are against the system of permits and its consequences for the residents.
16:15 – Well-cared-for greenery around the parking lot next to the crossing, but the lot as well as the road leading to its entrance are closed to vehicles transporting the laborers – unlike in the past, the Palestinian returning from work now get out of the vehicles about 100 meters away from the crossing itself.
There’s a gravel lot nearby, but apparently the drivers would rather not drive on the stones. There are yellow signs everywhere reading “No photography. Security installation.” All of a sudden, a parking lot used only by laborers crossing has become a security facility.
The booths at the crossing aren’t manned. The laborers go through the revolving gate and come out.