Tulkarem and Qalqiliya, Sun 21.10.07, Morning
The crossings of Ayal and Irtach, checkpoints A-Ras, Anabta
Summary: A strange Sunday not as usual. No pressure and the soldiers who are willing to speak to us also say it is strange. There is less and less dialogue with the soldiers….a blank wall.
Usually there are 100s of people at the gate. Angry employers wait outside or give up and leave. The atmosphere is angry, tense, frustrated and at boiling pitch. The passage opened at 4.00. Unusually 4 posts were manned and not one or two as usual. Most of the workers have already passed and the buses wait for the families of the prisoners going to Ketziyot. Did the phone calls of Orna and Naomi to the commander asking for special measures to be taken to allow them to pass help?
The soldiers refuse to allow us into the spot from where we are we can see the terminal saying that it is a closed army area and we have no right to enter. We protest and go in quickly, size up the situation and leave. The commander explains that we are not allowed in the area and tells us when the checkpoint will open. We are not sure that they can actually forbid us to enter.
Almost empty and the families of the prisoners are getting into the buses.
A-Ras. The childrens' gate 7.40
The soldier tries to give us a dig…"Why do the women of blue and white bring us cakes and you not?"
Hardly any movement on either side. No limitations. The commander says that he also thinks there is less traffic today but does not know why
Anabta 8.15 .
20 cars at the exit.