'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Habla, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Jubara (Kafriat), Sun 20.2.11, Afternoon

Observers: 
Susan L. (reporting); Guests: Becki E-P., Ron P. and a film crew
20/02/2011
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Afternoon

Summary
We learned a new word recently, or, rather, its use in the Middle East was new.  “Salmiya,” based on the word for “peace” is non violence, and we have seen what that can do – create a revolution. In contrast, here, the Israeli authorities maintain an occupation, and military, economic and social control over millions of Palestinians with coercion and force.  MachsomWatchers, but not the general Israeli population that is made to be terrified of terrorists, who are, by definition, Palestinian, know and see and hear and feel, day in day out, that the Palestinian struggle for survival, the Palestinian determination to overcome the Israeli occupation is non violent. That is their strength and will be their triumph.   

13:00-14:05 Habla – Gate 1392
When it’s winter, finally, it’s really winter. The wind is cruel and unbending, the overall atmosphere at the agricultural gate checkpoint, which is not yet open for business, is cruel and stark. It opens late, but closes, if not on time, then early, before 14:00, but there are not many people on our side of the checkpoint today. On the other side, more, including trucks and the usual assortment of tractors. But where we stand, we’re treated to the sight of a little boy on a little grubby white donkey, who dismounts to go to the checking booth, tethering the donkey to the half open gate, meaning that the large trucks have to nudge past him.  

13:25 The school bus, filled with the boys, comes by, and can seen it waiting for many minutes already on the far side of the Separation Barrier, and, as usual, two soldiers carry out their inspection inside it. Another ten minutes pass before the bus bearing the Bedouin girls comes by, and they’re all smiles and waves.

Route 55
By now, there is driving rain, which stops only near Beit Iba and Deir Sharaf. Every now and again, a brief sight of spring – trees in pink or white blossom or specks of bright red or soft pink in the undergrowth. Here, too, less traffic than usual for a Sunday when visitors, Palestinian Israelis, come to Nablus to shop or go on Route 60 onwards to Jenin.

Anabta and Jubara
Traffic flows freely, and when, as today, we drive through the “settlers” line, surprisingly, no questions asked by the soldiers.

Irtah
The usual flow of workers coming from their taxis and mini buses after a day’s work in Israel, the usual armed guard at the gate to the terminal.