'Azzun, 'Azzun 'Atma, Ar-Ras, Eliyahu Crossing, Falamiya, Habla, Jubara (Kafriat), Mon 17.12.12, Morning
Ordinary day of occupation. The children are on "vacation" as there is a strike of the employees of the Authority, the teachers and many others. This is because they did not receive a salary last month.
On the way, we saw a lot more use of donkeys than in the past. Even on highway #55, in the area between Eliyahu gate and the gas station of Alfei Menashe, there were a number of wagons with passengers and donkeys pulling them.
06:20 'Azzun 'Atma
Many are already waiting outside, but the line has about 70 people or more, even though the inspection is quick - 30 people went through in 8 minutes. The building of the checkpoint is proceeding at a good pace and every time something new has been added "to the advantage of the residents". Now it is a kind of divider, half transparent, between the vehicles lane and the inspection lane for pedestrians.
06:45 Tamar gate
We travelled by way of Oranit. Also, on this side of the road which leads to the gate, there is an additional gate, which cuts off the road coming from the Tamar gate. Pedestrians arrive and form a line between the gate and the fence. One can also pass through the gate if you push with both shoulders, but, in principle it is locked and there is only the hole in the fence. On both sides of the gate they are working on the new fence. It looks as though it will increase the amount of land returned to Palestine on one side but, along the road to Oranit it will decrease the space. There is also a lot of work on the south side of the road to Elkana - are they continuing the fence to there?- we'll see.
There is no one in line, even though the gate opened at 06:30; it is not usual that 45 minutes after the opening there is not yet a line. The children didn't cross because of the school strike. People keep arriving, but go straight through in both directions.
Eliyahu gate- 3 vehicles for inspection, no pedestrians waiting in line; there is a new shed in the pedestrian area, but not near the inspection booth.
We traveled to 'Azzun to our friend, Z., to bring things for his store. It is pleasant to report that he is enterprising and intends to open another store, so he will sell men's wear alone and his wife will sell the women's wear. However, his medical situation has not improved.
Quiet as usual; vehicles go through, tractors and donkeys. All of them with children - vacation, so they can help with the work
09:30 Jabarra checkpoint
Quiet, only a few people going through but the checkpoint still exists. According to the soldiers, they will dismantle it in another 1-2 months; a Palestinian said in another 20 days. So we decided to go and check how the fence is coming along. We went up to Ar Ras (next to the mosque) where there is a very good lookout. We saw that the fence is far from being completed (in the area under the rocks), and it doesn't look as though the Jabarra checkpoint will be dismantled. We will follow up.