'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Thu 11.10.07, Afternoon
Ar Ras 14:20 – 15:07
In Jubara we stopped at the last house before the children's gate to drop off a holiday package to a teacher whom Tomi C.(MW member) has gotten to know. Smadar was able to speak to her in Arabic and she and her daughters were excited to receive Tomi's present and asked after her health. This helped us feel the holiday spirit of Eid El Fitr which was in the air .
At the Childrens' Gate we are told that only residents of Jubara are allowed in and those who have special permits. At the A Ras checkpoint there is a line of about 10 vehicles from Tul Karm being checked. The vehicles from Qalqilyia are not being checked. It takes about 13 minutes for the 10 th vehicle to get to the checkpoint. Some vehicles are stopped and the insides are checked as well as the IDs . Other vehicles are waved on. Some people are questioned as to where they are from and where they are going.
When we arrive a taxi is on the side while waiting for several of the passengers' IDs to be checked. The soldiers claim they had stopped the taxi a few minutes ago. While we are there the soldiers callein the ID numbers and within a few minutes they are released. The passengers are anxious to continue their journey and a soldier becomes irritated by their complaints and comes up very close to the driver in a threatening manner telling him to go back to his taxi. In general the soldiers are nervous. There is a misunderstanding when a soldier signals to a vehicle to come forward and a pedestrian thinks he means him so he comes forward and then the soldier who is checking pedestrians gets angry and aims his rifle at him. Cutting ahead on the vehicle line is not tolerated. The offending driver is lectured. Vehicles going to Jubara are allowed to come to the front of the line.
A soldier informs me that there is an alert. They are looking for someone from Tul Karm who is suppose to deliver something to someone in Qalqilyia. For the last few days Israeli Army forces have been in Qalqilyia and the soldier tells us that two Israeli soldiers were injured today. Despite this state of "alert" the soldiers are not wearing helmets.
We stop at the municipality in the village of A Ras to receive the list of people who have not gotten permission to get to their land which is on the other side of the fence. Hagar is working in the committee that is helping those who live on the "seam line" and suffer from the injustices of not being allowed to work their land.
As we head back to Jubara and on to Anabta we see a man from Jubarrah walking toward the A Ras checkpoint struggling with a huge, heavy carton and a large bag.
At the moment there is no waiting line for vehicles going to or from Tul Karm. We are told by the soldier that checking is random today.