'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Beit Iba, Deir Sharaf, Eliyahu Crossing, Jit, Te'enim Crossing, Mon 15.8.11, Morning
Since last week we came across a flying checkpoint at A-Ras, and read in the reports of additional flying checkpoints, we decided to drive along roads where there used to be permanent checkpoints and flying checkpoints. We were pleased that we saw no checkpoints, and hardly any soldiers.
06:40 Eliyahu crossing – About 30 laborers are still waiting to enter.
06:47 The gate is open. There’s no line and people cross quickly. The female MP knows all those coming through. A truck with 4 people and empty crates in the back is inspected quickly and crosses; we see it going up the hill between the fruit orchards. A horse cart, tractor carrying workers, another tractor pass. An acquaintance of ours, who owns the field adjoining the gate, arrives with a horse and cart. He tells us that the field next to the fence on the other side, the fence and the security road opposite the gate and fields on the other side of the fence all belong to him. He has four sons and four daughters, none of whom have received permits to cross, even during the olive harvest, and he’s forced to hire workers and pay them.
07:15 At this moment they close the gate.
07:28 Falamya crossing – The soldiers gather in the guard tower. No one comes or goes.
07:45 No one has crossed, and we leave.
08:05 On route 55, more or less opposite Ramat Gil’ad (just past the turn to Karnei Shomron), on the left side of the road, we saw a large new yellow sign warning of mines (?). We weren’t able to stop and look more closely.
We saw no military vehicles or soldiers along the road.
Some stores in Funduq are open and people are on the street.
Shvut Ami (R.I.P.) and its hills are deserted; no soldiers at the Qedumim hitchhiking station.
Israeli police stop a Palestinian vehicle by the roadside. No soldiers at Jit junction. We drive on the road to Sara that had been closed and is now open and repaved, pass the turn to Sara, continue and at the large junction turn left toward Qusin village. There are new roads and considerable new, attractive construction. We pass by the village which suffered greatly when the Beit Iba checkpoint was operating and reach the ruins of the checkpoint where today shepherds put their goats and sheep to graze.
08:30 We make another left and reach Deir Sharaf. The bakery begins operating only in the afternoon and all night, till early morning.
We drive up to Shavei Shomron; there are no soldiers and we’re pleased to see that the yellow gate opposite Shavei Shomron that for years was locked and blocked access to Naqura and Sebastya has recently been dismantled, and entry is unrestricted.
08:45 At the junction of Routes 57 and 60 we see our first military vehicle, an armored car going up to Shavei Shomron.
At the 'Anabta checkpoint rising for the greater glory of Israel there’s a military command car and soldiers in the pillbox. At the checkpoint we turn around and return.
09:00 We leave the territories for home through the Te’anim checkpoint without being delayed.