Eliyahu Crossing, Falamiya, Kufr Jammal
We went to inspect the Falamya checkpoints – the Northern and the Southern, and were delayed for more than an hour and a half – a sad and troublesome Farce.
11:15 Eliyahu Check point – normal traffic
At the entrance to ‘Azzun – a military jeep is parked in the shadow of the tree.
In the Jamal village – we listened to the story of the son of our friend Z. Yesterday in a meeting with the representative of the Palestinian police he was told that he was caught working in Israel, but the young man never worked in Israel, he was always helping his family in the Za`atara fields. Who has invented this story?
Meeting with a young man in Jenin. Three years ago his father fell and broke his leg while working in Israel. The doctors of the Israeli insurance company have not examined him till now. He applied to a lawyer in Umm El-Fahem who was supposed to take care of the matter, but so far there are no results.
We gave him the telephone numbers of organizations that might help him.
Falamya –an old gate – 014 - as expected the gate is closed at midday. At the other side of the check point 2 tractors, loaded with sacks and farmers, drive into the road in order to pass through the southern gate. We approach the fence and ask the soldiers whether the army permits them to drive on the road and they answer in the affirmative.
They also take all the pedestrians about to leave through the Falamya gate.
We drive to the new southern checkpoint – 935 – a tractor is waiting for the gate to open and on the other side of the check point, on the road, the two tractors from the northern check point are also waiting.
At 13:00 the gates are opened, the commander approaches us and the familiar questions are asked: wherefrom, whereto, why, etc. and then come the answers: this is a military zone, you are not allowed to be here, you are in the Palestinian territory etc. etc. Patiently and politely we explain to him that we are not in the A territory, that we did not cross any red light that we were forbidden to cross, that we often arrive at the check points in the territories, and that we are law abiding citizens.
They request identification documents and we tell them that we know we are not required to deliver any identification documents to the soldiers. They disappear and more and more soldiers appear. We have already counted 7 around us. The documents are returned but we are detained.
Why? We saw you approaching the fence with cameras. I repeated the story of our meeting with the farmers on the tractors, we only talked with them.
A female military police officer arrives. Again we are required to present our documents but this time we refuse. The demands come one after the other – put out the engine, hand us the keys of the car, get out of the car, etc.
We refuse staunchly and remain in the air-conditioned vehicle.
They: do you understand that you are detained? Of course!
Time crawls, we are hungry, Alex needs to go to the toilet..and our brave soldiers, drawing their weapons, surround the car to ensure that we don`t drive away.
A series of telephone calls. To Miki, to Gabi (in a meeting and we send her a SMS). We call Raim the DCO. He asks to speak to the person responsible. The soldier approaches the car and answers Raim`s question: contact the Hamal (advanced command post) they`ll update you.
Raim loses his patience. Soldier, he shouts, you are speaking to a lieutenant colonel, you are rude.
The soldier repeats his words, speak to the Hamal, but does not give any details to Raim.
We are again requested to present the numbers of our identity cards and we do so gladly, but not the cards themselves. I ask them for their names and they answer "soldier", to what command (?) do you belong? Silence
13:45 A conversation with Gabi Laski.
In the meantime we are already surrounded by 9 members of the security forces. The soldiers are highly motivated and believe in what they are doing. "We are only obeying orders".