'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jit, Qalqiliya, Wed 7.11.07, Morning
The entrance to Azun has been blocked for three days as punishment for the throwing of stones by children.
The commander arrests people as he suspects them of criminal wrong doing. The authorities freed them after a long wait. One of them was handcuffed.
Stoppage of life because of a briefing which ended when we arrived.
The workers have problems passing.
Many workers waiting in the parking area but they say that today things were in order and they had not to wait long. But there are two problems.
1. On Sunday morning there are many workers and no extra sleeves or computers are opened. Sometimes they wait more than two hours.
2. Friday mornings even though there are not that many people the checking takes a long time and that is because there are not enough commanders to take command. It seems that the commanders are on leave on Fridays. Then the soldiers do exactly as they please.
Here the workers going through are allowed to return through whatever crossing they choose to Israel and this makes things much easier for the, At the Ephraim crossing this is not so and one ask why those going through Irtach should not have the same privilege.
A-Ras (farm 8). 7.00 – 8.10.
1. One man according to a soldier because he is suspected of having forged his ID. "He comes through each day with a different ID. The man says he has been in communication with the secret service captain Ronnie who is at the Ephraim crossing. He was supposed to have met him on Monday but had no come because he had work to do. 45 minutes later he was freed.
2. 3 men were detained on their way to work in a neighbouring village. When we phoned the center to ask why this was so they were immediately freed.
3. A young man detained because he was "wanted" so we were told. Later we understood that he was suspected of having passed through today with a stolen car. An hour and a half after we arrived the commander handcuffed him and though he complained that they hurt this did not help. Why does a soldier handcuff a thief when this is not the work of the army? We think it was done at the initiative of the commander first sergeant R. When we phoned it turned out that he had been freed by the police at 11.00.
4. The driver who had brought the "wanted" man was also detained because he was his friend. The man said he had only given the fellow a lift and he was also freed by the police.
It seems that the commander was playing at being a detective. As the sheriffs in the Wild West he decided who was suspect, who should be detained and who should be handcuffed. And this seems to be so in the checkpoints which are far from the command such as ARas . It is good that we get to them sometimes.
7.50 A taxi arrives and all the passengers alight and the dog checks.
A long line of cars waiting to enter Tulkarm reaches the crossroads, at least 20. The drivers say that there has been a stoppage of life of 15 minutes. 7 soldiers and a captain are having a conversation in the field behind the pillbox. As soon as they saw us two soldiers were sent to the checkpoint and allowed cars in both directions to go through quickly without being checked. Within two minutes the checkpoint was empty. It seems that there were two captains there who had come to brief the soldiers. When they left the checkpoint returned to normal.
Jit crossroads. 10.10
No soldiers. A police jeep in the direction of Awarta.
On our way back from Beit Iba is blocked because of stone throwing.
A random checking by a jeep of cars leaving the village.
In the parking lot are many Israeli cars and those wanting to enter do so by taxi as it is forbidden for Israeli cars to enter.
A big truck is unloading cement blocks to make the checkpoint larger and blocks one car lane. So in the lane that is left cars take turns coming or going and we saw no long lines,.