'Anabta, 'Azzun, Habla, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Jit Junction , Qalqiliya, Te'enim Crossing, Tue 13.12.11, Morning
We arrived. The gate is closed. A military vehicle arrived at the same time we did. About 20 people were already waiting on the village side. A cart and driver waited from the direction of the plant nursery. A few minutes later one of the soldiers standing on the road along the fence turns to the driver of the cart, asking “00”? The driver nods, the soldiers waves “Yalla, come on, come on.”
For some strange reason, the notice in the plastic sleeve listing the hours the checkpoint is open hangs on the gate nearest to the plant nurseries, but the text faces Habla. And if someone coming from the village wants to read what’s on the sign, he’ll need binoculars.
The people from Habla begin to be let in, in groups of 5. Drivers, bicycles, horse and donkey carts – all cross that way. Five reach the revolving gate to the inspection installation, wait one by one at the revolving gate for their turn, enter the inspection room and exit again in a group after 3-4 minutes. People in one of the groups complained that the female soldier conducting the inspection keeps eating and wasting time while carrying out the inspection. The bus with the girls arrives just about now, and the boys’ bus a short time later. The first bus crossed at 7:22.
Qalqilya – 8:11 – We passed what had been the Qalqilya checkpoint. No soldiers. Nadim said that there had been soldiers at the entrance this past Sunday.
Azzun – 8:18 – Open. On Sunday a military vehicle stood at the entrance to the locality.
A military vehicle stands between Jinsafut and Funduq, soldiers next to it, but we saw no cars or people detained.
A military vehicle parked at the Jit junction, toward Beit Iba. No cars or people detained; a military vehicle near the turn to Yizhar/Burin, a spike barrier across the road, soldiers standing next to it. Cars stopped for inspection. We continued toward Sara and then to Qusin. Only the concrete barriers marking the lanes remain at what was once the Beit Iba checkpoint. As if the massive investment in equipment, fortification and maintaining the notorious checkpoint had never occurred. The road from where the checkpoint once stood to Deir Sharaf is still an obstacle course, filled with potholes, and it looks like additional quarries have been established gnawing away at the hills on both sides.
We continued toward the Anabta checkpoint. There the equipment is still in place. We saw no traffic to or from Tulkarm. We saw no soldiers, but according to the rumors they’re observing from the pillbox.
At the Jubara checkpoint - “Te’anim crossing” in Newspeak – we cross the “border” without stopping. On the roadside, next to Abu Hatem’s house, is heavy construction equipment and we already see mounds of earth. Apparently they’re laying a road to relocate the separation fence so that Jubara will again be connected to the West Bank.
We entered the parking area at the Irtach checkpoint. A metal structure that looks like a kind of bridge has been erected on the security road next to the inspection station. A fence stretches from it to a gate that can prevent access to the revolving gates through which people coming from Irtach enter the installation. We learned that it’s to inspect vehicles purchased in Israel. And it looks like this checkpoint is competing for one of the top places in the competition for “the most beautiful garden.” Drip irrigation and a rock garden have also been installed near the area of concrete barriers next to the area where cars pick up laborers in the morning.