Habla, Tue 14.6.11, Afternoon

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Shay M., Tal A., Hanna A. (reporting)


We set out for the shift at 10:45 and as the agricultural gate of
Jaius isn't open at that hour we just drove through the village,
exchanging greetings with acquaintances, on our way to the
Falame gate (927) which is open the whole day. From Jaius to
Tul Karem a new road has been paved and on the way there are
directions and warning signposts written in Arabic and Hebrew. A
real co-existence of the Public Works Department.
11:45 Falame
The CP is manned by regular soldiers of the "passages unit" and
reservists. From time to time the residents of the villages whose
lands are confined between the fence and the Green Line, pass
from side to side, some in carts, others in tractors. A seemingly
pastoral situation. The idle soldiers become curious about our
presence and a conversation on the "reality" ensues.
The futile attempt of residents of Kafer Jamal to enter their lands
with a tractor laden with building material (iron instruments
and sacks of cement) in order to build a wall for the wells
for rain water which they gather, again reveals the basic
ingredients of the occupation: bureaucratic arbitrariness – every
entry of materials which do not pertain directly to agricultural
work necessitates coordination by means of the red cross
and agreement of the Israeli DCO (Tadassa's name is today
popular even among people from Habla.) "You know how
the DCO functions" says the military policeman to one of the
Palestinians "one day yes….today no". So it seems that today they
do not want to allow the materials to pass.
The justification by the soldiers of the fragmentation and division
of the Palestinian space – the soldiers support this bureaucratic
arbitrariness according to the rationale that Palestinians should not
be allowed to sell cheap equipment and merchandise at Kilkilya(!
). "If they pass the goods here, they can get out on the other
side. Here it is the B zone and there it is the A zone". Just as I
am forbidden to repair my car in the territories, there it is much
cheaper". According to this argument Zone B is part of Israel.
The preliminary personal attitudes of the soldiers have a weighty
effect on their behavior towards the Palestinians, all the time
meticulously observing the presence of the military domination
– on the one hand the military policeman explains that he uses
his considered opinion when an elderly person, who has a permit
of passage arrives in company with his young son who has no
permit. He allows the son to join his father on their lands. On the
other hand, when those who were prevented from transferring
equipment linger between the two fences which form the gate,
he admonishes them to turn back "you are not allowed to stand
here". Another examples M. the student reservist who lives in a
town that was bombed by kassam missiles, expresses disgust when he
interprets our talks with the Palestinians (we approached them)
"they know that they are not allowed to transfer goods without
permit and they come to lament to the leftist organizations".
12:35 – we left.
12:50 Azoun – open.
At the Eliyahu Passage we get a cursory look.
13:00 Habla – here too there are military policemen and reservists.
The gate is opened on time. On it hands a page with the opening
hours. The usual routine of five people who wish to leave Habla
(submission of Identity card, entry to the booth, getting the ID
card back…) For the first five the checking process in order to
leave Habla took about 10 minutes.
In order to enter Habla there are tractors and donkey driven carts
waiting. One of the cart owners wishes to take to Habla a satellite
plate and a refrigerator. Here to, this is forbidden! The military
policeman talks on the phone and return to the wagon driver "this
is an agricultural gate and you can't pass this".
While we are standing and watching one of the reservists
recognizes Tal as somebody who worked with him in the
past and with him too a vivid conversation develops and an
evidently fruitless discussion on the occupation and the issue of
the "promised land".
14:00 The gate is still open, we left.