'Azzun 'Atma, Eliyahu Crossing, Falamiya, Habla, Huwwara, Jit Junction , Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 28.5.12, Morning
06:25 'Azzun 'Atma – A long line of about 80 people. It’s Monday, but yesterday was a holiday so there are many people and equipment, as well as those coming for the entire week.
The soldiers warn us to stand behind the concrete barriers.
There are two inspection stations and a table outside to inspect belongings. It looks as if there are also many laborers on the other side of the road, because of yesterday’s holiday.
06:30 The first schoolgirls arrive, cross from Israel to Palestine. The line has grown longer even though people cross quickly and continuously.
The vehicle gate is locked after each opening and closing. The line still grows longer even though people cross quickly, 30 during nine minutes. There must be many arriving later.
07:10 Habla – The school buses arrived and the drivers go to be inspected. There’s a long line on the other side, beyond the gate. The drivers open the gate themselves and go through quickly.
A laborer complains he’s been blacklisted for some reason, so each time he wants to renew his crossing permit he has to wait on long lines and there are delays. We couldn’t help him. Crossing is slow – 10 people during eight minutes.
08:00 Eliyahu gate – About 10 people wait before the inspection station for pedestrians. Five cars are being inspected. There’s yelling at the checkpoint itself, and all the workers are tense. Meanwhile, the Israeli truck that had been detained and that seems to have been the reason for the shouting was sent to wait on the side. The driver opens the tool boxes underneath the truck, removes the fire extinguisher and goes to be inspected.
Other cars come through inspection in 8-10 minutes.
08:30 Falamya – Quiet and peaceful. The blue kipodeni’shave begun flowering and we can smell the Za’atar.
A tractor returns to the Israeli side. Donkey carts arrived from Jayyus.
A man from Jayyus says that recently the army hasn’t been coming at night.
09:20 Jit junction/Sara – A flying checkpoint on Highway 60 at the entrance to Sara; a line of about 20 cars forms coming from Nablus. Apparently they’re checking documents; some are detained. A car is sent to the side of the road and waits about 10 minutes to be released. A taxi is stopped, passengers get out for a five minute inspection, get back in and drive on. The normal, burdensome road routine – you never know when you’ll be stopped.
10:00 We pass Huwwara. No soldiers at the checkpoint; crossing is unimpeded.
10:20 Tapuach/Za’tara. One car is on the side being inspected by Border Police soldiers. It’s released in a few minutes; the soldiers go over to the parking area to talk with people in a jeep that arrived.
We waited ten minutes; the soldiers haven’t returned to the checkpoint.