Habla, Eliyahu Crossing, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Mon 31.1.11, Afternoon
The gates are shut. Very few are waiting
13:00 A military hummer arrives with 4 soldiers but without the key. We try to find out that the reason for the delay is and
understand from the soldiers that the fence had been
touched somewhere and the soldiers have been summoned for checking.
13:10 A military vehicle arrives with a soldier and the key, and the two grey gates are opened. Within five minutes the first group of five passes to the checking post. When they finish the pedestrian passage from the village too is made possible. But the main yellow gate is still locked and vehicles are delayed.
13:25 Another military vehicle arrives, there is a key and the gate is opened late and enables the passage of two vehicles and one cart hitched to a horse and loaded with cauliflowers.
We leave (there are no busses – the children are on leave from school)
Eliyahu Passage –the sparse traffic in both direction flows
13:50 Giyus. We fixed an appointment with A' from Tul Karem, a a police detainee, whose passage authorization has been taken away. Until he arrives we drive to the agricultural gate which, unlike the past, is not opened during the noon hours.
At the taxi stand we meet Naim, friend of the Machsom Watch women ("they all know me"). He tells us that during last night the army walked around the village and searched ten houses.
A' arrives and gives us 500 shekel for the lawyer who deals with his case. We bid him goodbye and go on to Palmiya.
14:30 At the Palmiya CP there are three bored soldiers. There is nobody coming or going.
14:40 Kafr Jamal – we enter the grocery. We are offered juice and white seeds (wonderful) and hear:
There are 3000 people in the village and about 2000 live abroad. Heads of family over thirty have work permits to work in Israel, and only some make a living from agriculture: olives, oranges, vegetables in hot-houses. They don't have special problems with the army, There are two schools in the village, one for boys the other for girls, and they all learn till the age of 18.
15:20 We buy local products, bid the grocery owner, wife and lovely children goodbye and continue by way of Beit Lid, Safarin and Shufa to the Fig Passage.
16:05 Irtah – Efrayim Gate. A long queue and crowding in front of the turnstile. We gather that from time to time they close the entrance for a few minutes and only when a large crowd accumulates the red light turns to green, the gate is openend and a never ending stream of Palestinians passes. We try to find out what the reason for the closing and for the creation of the congestion is, but get no answer from the guards.
We bid Irtah good bye. End.