Azzun, Beit Iba, Jit, Sun 4.11.07, Afternoon

Alix W., Susan L. (reporting).


The resilience of the Palestinians under occupation never ceases to

amaze us, as week in, week out, we go from place to place in the

Occupied Palestinian Territories, from checkpoint to checkpoint,

listening to people we know, others that we've only just

met. Sumud, being steadfast in the face of all difficulty, is one

of the qualities that keeps Palestinians going. It helps Abu Ghatem

and family deal with the problems brought on by the lack of visible

earning power, which, over the years, we've seen go from something to

nothing. It helps drivers passing the checkpoint at Anabta deal with

the on and off again requirements of stopping and checking, at the

whim of the occupier, and it seems to help most Palestinians to be

unceasingly courteous and polite, many, including the workers of

Tulkarm Municipality, putting up electricity for the seam line

village of Jubara, even to be cheerful in the face of such appalling



Beit Iba 14:35 

Construction of the enlarged and improved checkpoint seems to be

continuing, but not when we're around. A parked truck with Israeli

license plates stands in the way of passing pedestrians, coming from

Deir Sharaf. Two Israeli workers smoke, chew bamba or some sort of

snack, then proceed to change their shirts. A new metal roof is in

process of being put up (but, clearly, no work at this hour). On the

other hand, there are lots of sharp metal piping pieces, small,

medium and large sizes, strewn about the checkpoint: ideal for

somebody to trip over. Indeed, they provide amusement for one

soldier who leaves his vehicle checking position, at one point during

our shift, and begins to kick the debris around.

Once again, surprise, surprise the soldiers at this checkpoint work

neither efficiently or pleasantly! As we arrive, three soldiers are

involved with checking one of the usual porter's carts; a Taneeb bus

waits for at least five minutes at the Qusin junction.

Y., the second lieutenant commander, immediately approaches us to

tell us to stand behind something or other; what is not clear, it's

just away from where we can see anything. We continue to do what we



Five soldiers are checking the backs of trucks or the trunks

of vehicles. Three soldiers stand at the pedestrian bag checking

table, including Y., the commander. Ten soldiers in total at the

checkpoint which is not busy at this time, with only six vehicles on

their way to Nablus. One of these is an ambulance, bearing the

sign, Emergency Medical Supplies: it's thoroughly checked, the

soldier demanding to see what's inside some boxes.


Two soldiers check the inside of one mini bus. Another

officious military policewoman is outside, on the phone, looking over

a list of those wanted or blacklisted, a list which has already been

checked by a soldier! Much of the time, the five vehicle checking

soldiers stand around, chat and laugh, again and again. Another time,

three of them check the baggage compartment of a bus.


Three soldiers at the central checking area have their backs

to the pedestrians coming from Deir Sharaf. The latter make the most

of this opportunity and make their way towards Nablus, without being



As we walk away from the checkpoint, through the new melee

of parked taxis, each of whom wants to be as near the passing

pedestrians as possible, a high speed Hummer, passes, its driver a

woman, with cigarette hanging from her lips.


 Jit Junction (on the way to Huwwara, see other shift's


A blue police van, on the side of the road

16:15  Near Kedumim

A great deal of traffic on the road coming from the west. As we

approach the bend in the road near the hilltop settlement in

miniature, we see a large police van, two police cars on the north

side of the road, many blue police, and on the slope leading up to

the house above (where the settler youth had encamped) two border

police jeeps and border policemen. Maybe there's just been an

evacuation?! We remember that Condoleeza Rice is today in Jerusalem!



This village remains closed in. The huge concrete boulders placed

like a giant child's building blocks access, leaving gaps, none of

them wide enough for a car. Instead, taxis and cars have to go in and

out of the village one kilometer further west. A repeat of what we've

seen in the past, and, no doubt, the opening in a week or two will be

another repeat of what we've seen before too.