'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Eliyahu Crossing, Shave Shomron, Te'enim Crossing, Mon 18.7.11, Morning
We started earlier this morning, skipping the Habla checkpoint in order to reach the northern gate atJayyus when it opened. We’d made an appointment to meet there the new Ecumenicals living in Jayyus.
Additional hours that the northern Jayyus gate is open: 13:45-14:15, except for Friday and Saturday!!
06:35 Eliyahu gate
Approximately 50 Palestinians waiting at this hour to go through the gate, and we see more people coming to the checkpoint from Qalqilya. About ten cars are waiting to enter, as well as a horse and wagon.
The gate opens on time and there’s a long line of tractors waiting to go through. The female MP conducts a rigorous inspection, including lifting up pants legs and asking (ordering) people to unbutton their shirts, and sometimes to empty their pockets. D., one of the Ecumenicals, asks whether it’s legal for a female soldier to inspect males, and why a female rather than a male soldier is the one conducting the inspection. We explain that she’s a military policewoman, but that it doesn’t make sense to us either.
They ask about the hours the gate is open and we learn that, from 14.7, the gate is also open in the afternoon, from 13:45 to 14:15 – but it’s a mixed blessing – the gate isn’t open on Friday and Saturday.
That notice is posted only on the outer gate, not on the gate reached by people coming from the village. Some of the residents still don’t understand this clever arrangement. Nor do the Ecumenicals.
In response to my question, the soldiers suggested I write a notice and paste it on the gate
The Palestinians would like the gate to remain open later in the afternoon during the summer because it’s hard to work in the fields at midday. The head of the village had a meeting with the DCO, which didn’t agree.
07:15 The soldiers close the gate. A Palestinian arrives with his two children, a donkey and wagon but is sent to the Falamya gate. It takes him exactly half an hour to get there!
07:35 Falamya gate
Unlike the congestion at the Jayyus gate, here it’s very calm and few people are crossing. Inspection is quick and polite.
08:00 We meet Z. from Kufr Jamal and follow him up to the village, to his grocery.
We’d arranged to meet him in order to give him the permits for the day at the beach for the village’s children.
His wife and daughter offer us coffee and tea with sage. We see how happy she and the children are in anticipation of the day at the beach.
We drive from Kufr Jamal on the attractive new road to Tulkarm, turn at Kafr Sur toward Kur and from there, via Khaja and Funduq, to Route 55, and turn toward Deir Sharaf. We saw no military vehicles between Funduq and Deir Sharaf. We drove up to Shavei Shomron; that checkpoint is also open, no soldier present and traffic flowing. But, as Tamar writes in her new Spotlight, it can be reinstated at any moment, as can the 'Anabta checkpoint which stands ready for operation, with soldiers observing from the pillbox and the generator that is running continuously.
The only checkpoint that I know the army has completely demolished, and almost nothing of it remains, is the notorious Beit Iba checkpoint.
We drove home via 'Anabta and the Te’anim crossing, where this time we weren’t inspected at all.