Afternoon

Nov-13-2003
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T.B.,R.H,L.N-G.,L.Y.15.00 A-Ram. A not very long lane of people, a small number ofdetainees. We were told that they had only been detained for a shortperiod...a routine check. The line of cars was longer.15.20 Kalandia. The checkpoint was very crowded. Many people fromboth sides. There were 10s of people in line but the checking was fast.Many soldiers at the checkpoint. Safadi was also there and came upto us prepared to answer questions. He introduced us to Sharabi, a reservecaptain responsible for the checkpoint. ! Sharabi told us that there is achangeover of volunteers.In reply to our question about the detained cars, Safadi told usthat a short time ago many cars had been passed, but that in the past days theyhad tightened up on checking and confiscating cars. The Cab drivers alsospoke to us and said that in the past days cars with Israeli licence plateshad also been confiscated because their drivers were from the territories.As a result of a patrol in the quarry soldiers arrived with about 30detainees. Their ID's were taken from them for checking. We remindedSharabi that the hour of the end of the fast was drawing near and thatpeople needed to break their fast. He said , he was very aware of that andthe checking would be done as quickly as possible. After about half anhour some of the detaineesinfo-icon were released. Rachel asked Sharabi about oneof the detainees who had come to Ramallah that day to take out a licenseand who had to get back to Hebron. Sharabi spoke to the man in Hebrew,gave him his papers and allowed him to pass the checkpoint although hedid not have a permit (tashrich). We and other detainees turned once more toSharabi, who listened and hastened the checking and returning of the ID's.He also allowed a number of people who did not have permits to gothrough the checkpoint. The line of cars was by then very long but the checking was doneon several cars at the same time. We had a quiet watch even though asthe end of the fast approached the number of people increased greatly.We agreed that Sharabi had been responsible for this as he calmed thereactions of the soldiers and tried to help people in severalcases.17.00 A-ram.....the checkpoint empty of those wishing to pass andalso of detainees. There was still a line of cars and on the other sidea traffic jam though there did not seem to be any special reason forthis. The roads on the way back were completely empty.