'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Mon 19.9.11, Morning
06:50 Habla gate
The gate was closed, a military vehicle and soldiers were waiting. A Palestinian van was waiting on the Israeli side, and many Palestinians on the Palestinian side. Two military vehicles, one of them large and white, arrive from the direction of the nursery and enter the gate. More soldiers get out of them.
07:02The first five people enter the inspection booth. The soldiers get organized and the big vehicle turns into an x-ray vehicle (like there was at Hawarra in the past). Occasionally, one of the Palestinians is asked to pass his bag or pack through the x-ray machine. The inspection is quick.
07:06The first five people come out.
07:10The second five people come out. 3 women are sent by the soldiers to the back of the line, even though the men let them pass.
07:14 The third set of five come out. The inspection is fast, despite the occasional checking of bags in the x-ray machine. The elderly guard of the nursery passes through without having to descend from his cart.
07:20Two buses with children arrive. The drivers are checked quickly, outside the line, and pass through. 2 vans loaded with plants arrive from the direction of Habla and pass through quickly, without inspection. Aside from the addition of the x-ray vehicle, the passage is without incident and fast. They complained that yesterday there was a policewoman who yelled and cursed them and even sent people to the end of the line. They also complained that, in order to start work at 08:00 in the marble factory next to the nursery, they have to arrive 2 hours early to wait in line.
07:50We stayed for a while to talk with people and to see if there were any further changes.
We were told that the workers from Alfei-Menashe were not allowed to go through the Eliyahu gate from today and they were forced to go to Eyal, something which made it very difficult for them. Workers who have an agricultural permit can still go through.
08:00 Eliyahu gate. The new building is not yet in use. Next to it is a parking lot, but we missed the entrance to it, so we couldn't stop. There is a very long line of cars (about 30) in front of the entrance to Israel. We also saw about 25 workers waiting, as usual, at the entrance to the inspection booth. It seemed to us that, because the personnel has changed, everything was going more slowly.
08:05 The entrance to 'Azzun is open.
08:15 The agricultural crossing at Falamya is characteristically quiet. No special preparations seen. We travel by way of Falamya to the village of Jamal. It seems that there are more PLO flags in the village. A hitchhiker whom we picked up told us that in Jamal everyone received permits for the olive harvest. He showed us his metal workshop in the village of Kur, but continued with us to the checkpoint at Jabara.
08:40The checkpoint at Jabara was quiet, cars parked outside, 3 women arrived from the village and passed without any inspection in the booth. The hitchhiker said that it is usually like that at Falamya as well. He also told us that the farmers from Aras who have land in the border area pass through the checkpoint at Jabara in order to reach them. We return by way of the Olive square, Hajjah and Funduk to highway 55. The stores are open at Funduk and lives goes on as usual.
09:15 Deir Sharaf We met N. and he signed the documents. He was helped in the past by S, but his permit was taken from him again, with no reason given, and S is trying to help him again. We spoke with A., the owner of the grocery/bakery.
10:15We went up to Shavei Shomron. No checkpoint, but the yellow gate, as always, was ready, also at 'Anabta. The coffee man returned and one car was parked after the turn. The whole trip, from the entrance to the area of the PNA until the exit, by way of the Fig gate, with the MachsomWatch flags flying, we did not see any military vehicles or soldiers, except at the passages themselves. Let's hope this continues. As the grocery owner said, "Inshallah and god willing, since it is anyway the same god..."