'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Azzun, Qalqiliya, Sun 2.12.07, Afternoon
Driving towards our destination, the sky seems to be getting darker
and darker, drearier and drearier, and as I expected not only the
weather, the occupation is gloomy and sad. More closure, curfew,
restrictions and endless waiting, yet the army actually thinks that
a renovated checkpoint will make the Palestinians happy and brighten
up their lives.
There are few vehicles waiting to enter, none coming out. A man
approaching us as we are walking to the CP, and tells us `no one is
allowed out'. Sure enough, one of soldiers tells us that there is a
curfew as of a few hours previously. No one is allowed out except
for a handful of pedestrians and vehicles that manage to have the
right papers. Everyone is being checked.
14:10 Azzun is completely closed; the cement blocks are closely
lined up, no space between them, no chance of making room to get
through. Everyone is safe inside.
No line of vehicles going in, but coming out of Tulkarm is an
endless line. The check of IDs and vehicles is sporadically,
although we see that they seem to be checking the IDs of most of the
At 16:00 there is a change of shift, the soldiers
from both shifts seem to be doing their job efficiently. At Beit
Iba several taxi drivers tell us that there is a 3 hour wait at
Anabta, timing a bus from where we could see it, it took 15 minutes
for 45 vehicles to pass, but we don't know how long it took the bus
to get to the point where we saw it.
17:00 Gate 753
There is one jeep and one Hummer on the road next to the soldiers'
post, several pedestrians and several vehicles are waiting at both
gates. The army vehicles move on and the soldiers, a new group of
reservists, start checking the pedestrians, more vehicles join the
queue. As we approach the soldiers, one raises his hand for us to
halt, while he eats sunflower seeds and waits for his comrade to
return to his post; the soldiers do not know Machsom Watch and at
first tells us that we can only go, then says that we can go as far
as A-Ras, we tell them `that is what we do every week'.
There are four reservists and two women soldiers, and one dog.
There are two vans pulled over, the IDs of one van is being checked,
the second one has all its parcels, bags and belongings taken out of
the van and the dog is going through it all.