Ruthie Katz, Chana Abiram. Translator: Charles K.
Seriously? Does this make us safer?


Every so often the checkpoint procedures change.  Recently, from the time the checkpoint opens until  07:00, only people on foot or on bicycles have been permitted to go through.  Vehicles with permits are allowed to leave Habla only later.


Plastic baskets for ID cards rest on the concrete barrier near the entrance from Habla.  O. directs traffic at the checkpoint entrance, collecting and returning the IDs of Palestinians. 


Even so, despite the Occupier’s insistence on order and discipline so that it can do what it must, the Occupier manifests its control by means of technological arbitrariness – computer failures that delay the crossing - and by verbal expressions of domination.  For example, when the first bus of teachers goes through at 07:10, the person who seems to be in charge of the MPs instructs one MP:  “Just check them and get them out of here.”  Someone who wants to enter Habla is ordered to wait;  “Let him wait,” says the person in charge.  A few minutes later he’s allowed to cross.  But another person wasn’t as fortunate.  He arrived at07:44 and the same person in charge says “A quarter to eight, too late… what’s the idea of coming now?”  And when the man tries to explain, to persuade, he might be annoyed and raises his voice, he’s told not to yell.  And the person in charge approaches him:  “Did you yell at him?”  “I didn’t yell,” the man replies loudly.  “Here, you’re yelling now,” and he isn’t allowed to return home.


One man returned to Habla the way he’d come.


And, of course, we heard how the Civil Administration’s right hand doesn’t know what its left hand is doing.  One confiscates pipes, the other returns them.  And perhaps the infrastructure of the pump next to the checkpoint will finally be replaced…