'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Eyal, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Wed 21.11.07, Morning
The way to Azzun and Isla from road 55 is blocked.
At Eyal Passage people are waiting in the rain because the shed is too small.
A taxi driver complains that at Ar-Ras checkpoint drivers are constantly bulled.
There is an extremely long line at Anabta, but thanks to our presence, it is getting shorter.
The situation at the entrance to Qalqiliya is quite similar.
Eyal Passage 07:00
A rainy day. There are many workers and those who are here say that things have gone well this week.
There is a shed here for the workers who wait for their employers at the parking lot in rainy days, but it is too small for the great number of workers and many of them have to wait out in the rain.
The northern entrance to Jubara
The Israeli police have put a plastic restraint that locked the entrance gate to the village. Undaunted, Inbal succeeded in overcoming the problem.
Ar-Ras (Farm 8) 07:20 – 07:45
There is scarcely any traffic. The reservists that are new here are in a good humor. A woman soldier with a dog is also here. The inspections, the dog's included, are quick. The inspections stop for 5 minutes due to shifts changes. When we leave, a taxi driver who often passes the checkpoint asks us to come to the checkpoint more often and for longer time because the soldiers keep bulling the Palestinians.
Anabta (Einav) 08:10 – 08:45
On the way we see many people going down on foot from the village Ramin and we understand that at Anabta things are a mess. Going out through Ramin, partly on foot, even though it is a long way, and means climbing downhill on a dirt road is, especially when it's muddy, very unpleasant, to put it mildly (and only young people can make it). At the checkpoint we are met by taxi drivers who also express anger and concern about the situation there.
As a matter of fact, the line of cars from the direction of Anabta is really long and its end cannot be seen. The drivers report about one hour to one and 15 minutes waiting time. When we arrive, the inspection starts going quicker. Many people go out of the cabs and pass the checkpoint on foot. They aren't checked. We decide to stay until the congestion is over and done with, because it is obvious that as long as we are here the soldiers try harder. It is only after 45 minutes that we can see the end of the line (which means a little over 20 cars). Considering the speed of the inspection, we can guess what the length of the line was when we arrived. The Deputy Mayor of Kabatiya comes out of one of the cars on line. At 09:00 he has a meeting in Ramallah with one of the Ministers in the Palestinian Authority, and he asks to precede the line. The soldier agrees.
A shift change takes place and the inspection goes on. The new soldiers speed the inspection up considerably. The taxi drivers tell us that the soldiers ask them for cigarettes. One of the drivers tells that the soldier asked him for the whole packet.
Taxi drivers in Beit Lid tell us that road 55 (the main road from Qalqiliya to the east) is closed for Palestinians from Qalqiliya to Jit junction, which is probably a punitive action for the terrorist attack in which a settler was killed near Funduk. Apparently this was the situation up until yesterday.
What we see today is that the two entrances to the town of Azzun from road 55 are blocked by concrete cubes and piles of rocks.
One of the taxi drivers says that the entrance in the direction of the village Isla is also blocked.
We saw Palestinian vehicles on road 55 on our way from Jit to Qalqiliya.
A police jeep is standing on the road leading out of Funduq.
Qalqiliya 10:20 – 10:50
Forty two cars are waiting in line at the entrance to Qalqiliya. Waiting time is 40 minutes, according to the reports. The soldiers at the checkpoint are reservists. It is raining and they are wet. They have been standing at the checkpoint since 07:00 in the morning. They are cold and hungry. Only when their shift is over, at 14:00, can they go and eat. The soldier who carries out the check says he had no idea that the line was that long. He starts speeding up the check and lets Palestinian cars pass quickly. Cars with Israeli licence plates have to show an entrance permit to Qalqiliya and tell their number on the list. In the meantime the cars are parked nearby and wait for the soldier to check the list of Israeli vehicles permitted to enter the city. An Israeli who has no permit arrives. His family has a textile factory in the city and he came with a minivan to get some merchandise. His father does have an entrance permit with his vehicle, but he has to be in court today. The soldier is insistent that he cannot enter.
Here, too, we decide to stay (in the rain) until the long line gets shorter. The fact is that when we are here, the line does get shorter. When we leave half an hour later, "only" 17 cars are in line.