'Awarta, 'Azzun, Deir Sharaf, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Jit, Qalqiliya, Ras 'Atiya, Shave Shomron, Mon 11.4.11, Morning
There is a conspicuous contrast between our report and those coming from Awarta. We didn't go with the idea that it is important to continue and show our presence in other places as well. And also since we don't have any Arabic speakers and we thought that it would not be useful to go there not knowing to whom to turn, or whether or not it would be possible to enter the village. It seems to me that the ordinary occupation situation is shocking and upsetting even if nothing special happens, like what is happening in Awarta.
06:48 Habla. The first group is coming out only now. They complain that the gate was opened quite late. The inspections are fast and, within 3 minutes, the next group is already coming out and the one after this, after 2 minutes. The vehicles gate is closed and the Palestinians exit through the small gate. The guard from the nursery arrives and waits until they see him, and then goes through quickly. He says that one week ago there were "bad" soldiers who detained people, halted the inspection and took a lot of time. According to him, there were no women from MachsomWatch there that morning.
07:10 The buses arrive, the drivers' documents are checked, they have to open the luggage compartments for inspection and a soldier enters each bus for inspection. The buses go out after 6 minutes. They open and close the gate each time, though everything is done very efficiently and quickly this morning. Nevertheless, one of the youths says that they are asking a lot of questions and that delays things.
0 7:30 We leave, even though there are at least another 25 people in line and also a large truck with pottery that has come from Qalqilya to the nursery. At the exit a shepherd stops us and requests that we try to get the gate to open at 06:00 (which is what was written on the document which Tadesa gave us) and not at 06:30. Since a new member is traveling with us, we enter the road that leads to Ras Atira and show her the locked gate and explain the history of the area. At the exit, we see a large sign announcing "Here Alphei Menashe is being built".
07:45 Eliyahu Gate. We didn't stop, but we saw that there were about 20 people waiting. We traveled via 'Azzun to Jayyus. The opening time remains 05:45-06:45, so we didn't go to that gate but rather continued to the Falamya gate. On the improved road to Tulkarm there is a detour, through some olive groves and the village of Falamya and then back to the Tulkarm road.
08:00 Agricultural gate, Falamya. 2 tractors, a horse and wagon wait in front of the gate; after checking of documents, they pass through. A Palestinian arrives in a car and, in the luggage compartment there is a bicycle. He tries to go through in the car but it turns out that the permit is for the bicycle and not for the car, so he has to leave the car and ride the bike.
08:20 We leave. Travel by way of Nofim and the flowers are amazing. We pass through the villages, stop to buy vegetables and talk with the grocer about the situation and then continue through Fundak toward the J'at junction. On the way, we didn't see any military vehicle at the entrance to the villages or the settlements, also at J'at there was no roadblock or police. We turned off toward Dir Sharaf, stopping at a grocery/bakery. The store owner said that there was serious unemployment and the PA can't deal with the problem as there is no industry and it isn't even possible to make a living from agriculture today. He has a solution: if Israel were to stop importing foreign labor for agriculture and building, and allow Palestinians to work in Israel, there would be quiet in the territories because "someone who is working and making a living doesn't want to lose his living". He asked us to write about this in the papers and make known the unemployment problem which is causing agitation. We went up to road #60 to show the wall of Shavei Shomron and, to our surprise, there was a flying checkpoint. A truck was stopped for inspection, but the others were allowed through and they also didn't stop us, but just waved us through. We were tempted to move on, but we stopped there... On the way back, we saw the new hill next to Kedumim; an altogether new building.
10:15 Shvut Ami is abandoned.
10:30 By way of Eliyahu, in spite of the flags, they didn't check us and we continued toward home.