'Anabta, 'Azzun, 'Azzun 'Atma, Eliyahu Crossing, Falamiya, Habla, Jit Junction , Te'enim Crossing, Mon 15.7.13, Morning
The laundry opposite the 'Azzun 'Atma checkpoint is open since early this morning. We’re told that as soon as the fence is moved the laundry won’t have enough work and will have to close, so every silver lining has a cloud. The main entrance to 'Azzun is still locked.
06:15 A military jeep parks by the side of the road to Elkana, a few soldiers stand next to it. One of them gives a sermon to a Palestinian Israeli that he’s not allowed to transport Palestinian laborers in his vehicle. The Israeli argues a little, says he only takes people who have permits but the sergeant yells at him, says he’ll arrest him, that he doesn’t do so only because he’s elderly, that he’s not allowed to transport Palestinians. The jeep drove off by the time we got out of the car. We were amazed; what business has the army with an Israeli who’s transporting people. Who does he think he is. The lord !.
Many people who’ve already gone through wait at the checkpoint for rides. Very few are on line; it’s not clear whether fewer went to work. Later, when we visited our friend in Kafr Jimal, he said he doesn’t work in Israel during Ramadan, it’s too difficult. So that must be true of other workers as well.
The laundry next to the checkpoint is already open (it usually opens later). People there tell us that as soon as the new fence is operating they’ll have no work because they serve Israelis who won’t be able to reach them. It’s sad that an improvement for some people harms others.
06:50 Habla. The checkpoint is open. There’s a line on the other side, but crossing goes pretty smoothly. When five people enter for inspection, five others are allowed to approach the revolving gate and others stand farther back, behind the gate in the fence. When the first five exit inspection those at the revolving gate enter and a new group is permitted to move forward (Shoshana took photographs so someone who doesn’t understand can see how it works).
07:00 Eliyahu checkpoint. Few people are on the pedestrian line. Two donkey carts with riders crossed for inspection in the vehicle area. We couldn’t see whether dogs were employed in inspection, or only people.
Today we discovered that the checkpoint managers love art – a rain basin in the grandiose garden erected at the checkpoint has been painted blue (like water), and within are three statues – two ducks and a beetle (see photo). On the artificial grass across the way stands a metal sculpture of a bee and another kind of some insect, in all their glory. It’s a good thing there’s something to spend taxpayers’ money on, since the state has such a large surplus.
07:20 'Azzun. The main entrance is blocked (we entered from Izbet Tabib) by the yellow iron gate which is neither barred nor locked; we could open it, but a military jeep stood off to the side, apparently to ensure no one dare do so (see photo).
08:00 Falamya. The place is quiet, pastoral, and a tractor is working on the infrastructure for the new fence. A mule cart driven by a man from Jayyus arrives; he had to travel all the way here because the Jayyus gate opens only early in the morning. After he crosses he’ll have to ride all the back along the fence to Jayyus, to his fields and groves.
09:00 Jit junction is open; so is 'Anabta. We drove up to the crossing between upper Shufa and Izbet Shufa; the road there is also open but concrete blocks are in place, ready to close it at any moment.
Te’anim checkpoint. There’s an additional gate next to the checkpoint leading to the road to Tulkarm. It’s open; cars go through. We knew it opens at certain times for Israeli Arabs returning from Tulkarm. Now, during Ramadan, it’s open from 10 AM to midnight – “easing.”