'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Mon 15.11.10, Morning
The soldiers open the gate and immediately move the Palestinians through.
06.31 The first group of five passes, and two minutes later the next group.
06.40 There is no longer a queue and only individuals arrive and pass quickly. Apparently because it is Eid il Adhah eve few people are going to work. Also the reserve soldiers are polite and efficient, which seems to have an influence on the woman soldier.
06.58 Ma’avar Eliyahu. No Palestinian men waiting. Two women wait next to the checking fixture.
7.30 Farmers’ passage Falamiya. The gate is open. A y oung man waits in the shade. He has not been allowed to pass although he has a permit and always passes there. His permit is for gate 839 (Sal’it) but, with the DCO stamp, is added 927 (Falamiya). The military police checked with the DCO and was told that he does not appear in the list. On our request another check is made and, lo and behold, he is found in the list and immediately passes through. The military police apologises to us(?) and advises the Palestinian to go to the DCO to get a new printed permit.
The soldiers say that this morning many Palestinians passed to their fields and we, too, see all the time a steady stream of people passing although the olive harvest is almost done.
8.25 Opposite Kedumim we see a Hummer and a military ambulance and a number of soldiers. In general we saw few military vehicles but, in contrast, very many Palestinian vehicles on the roads.
8.35 We went on Route 60 to Shavei Shomron. There, too, was heavy Palestinian traffic. Reserve soldiers wanted to talk to us. They get instruction only on the particular checkpoint they serve on. They are told that the big checkpoints have been dismantled. We explained that, although the big checkpoints have been taken down, the obstacles to people to getting to their lands are just as troublesome to them and that there are still barriers to many villages. The kibbutznik listened with interest and understanding; the other soldier still felt that the settlements protect Tel Aviv…
Stop for coffee in Deir Sharaf.
We passed the checkpoint at ‘Anabta to show our new members. There is a soldier in the watchtower.
10.35 Sha’ar Efraim (Irtah) In spite of the late hour there were about 20 Palestinians outside the booth on the Palestinian side, pressing to the first carousel. They say that they all have permits to enter Israel to visit relatives on the festival. But they have waited more than an hour. We phone the DCO and within 3 minutes the carousels open and they all pass. We walk towards the exit gate and before we reach it the first people have already come through, with big smiles. The joy is shared by us and the Palestinians and we wish one another ‘Eid said – Chag Sameah!