Eliyahu Crossing, Falamiya, Habla
The occupation routine: gates opening at irregular hours, some of the soldiers behaving disrespectfully to people crossing.
06:35 Falamya north checkpoint. We arrived; the gate, which was to have opened at 06:20, did so on time according to people there. About 35 people on foot were waiting to cross and there were many vehicles of various kinds. The MP “barks” at people who dare advance slightly past the first gate into the area between the gates. “Go back,” over and over, until people retreat and stand as she expects. When a cluster of five come near her she barks again – go back, again and again until they stand nicely in a straight line (the only thing missing is for her to order“eyes right”) and then she inspects their documents. One man was asked to lift his trousers and shirt after his cooler had been carefully inspected. He was finally relased. When that soldier decides someone didn’t behave properly on the short line of five people she sends him back, to wait for everyone else, even if he was first on line.
There’s also a dog handler who inspects some of the cars.
When there were no more people on line we hurried to Falamya south (935).
07:20 Falamya south checkpoint. It should be open from 07:15 to 08:00, but the soldiers arrived after us and the checkpoint actually opened at 07:30 to the cries of “wahad wahad” (one by one) at the Palestinians. But a few minutes later the arrangement changed to “hamsa hamsa” (by fives). A number of people were on foot, and motorized vehicles, such as tractors, followed by carts and cars were permitted to cross after all those on foot went through. Two cars were checked again by the dog. At 07:50 all had crossed and the soldiers prepared to close, which they did at 07:55.
We continued to the Habla checkpoint, arriving at 08:25, but it was already closed, of course. It’s not possible to get to all these checkpoints because they open and close simultaneously. People who crossed at Habla said the checkpoint now opens too briefly and it’s difficult for everyone to go through and the soldiers announce fifteen minutes before closing that anyone who hadn’t arrived by then won’t be able to cross.
We should investigate that when our colleagues come to Habla.
At 06:20 the Eliyahu entry gate was full of cars with a line at the entrance to the inspection area and there were also 30-40 people on foot. On our way back at 08:15 there were no people on foot but the vehicle inspection shed was full, with no line.