'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Azzun, Jit, Qalqiliya, Tue 1.1.08, Morning
A quiet atmosphere of holiday (or depression). Extremely thin traffic of cars on the roads and few people at the checkpoints. Cold weather. Schools are on holiday. Universities and banks are closed, so are shops.
The Flowers Gate
06:30 – A long line of people, tens of them, are waiting in this freezing cold morning to enter Israel.
06:40 – The traffic is streaming. Few cars at the entrance and 3 – 4 cars that pass within minutes at the exit. A taxi including its passengers is detained. A Border Police soldier writes down the details of all the passengers' ID cards. When he is through, he calls one of the passengers sitting inside the cab to come and fetch the documents. (It seems to be too much for him to make a few steps to the cab to give them their documents back and demonstrate some respect to the Palestinians who have been detained).
The entrance to Azzun-Atma is open. Two workers are waiting for transportation at the junction.
The junction is deserted.
08:40 – At the exit from Tulkarm there are 4 – 5 cars that pass within minutes following a short inspection. Only one car is at the entrance.
09:00 – We have watched 2 – 3 cars passing the checkpoint. It's cold and the soldiers, dressed in coats, are polite. At the Agricultural Gate checkpoint the soldiers make it clear that Israelis are not allowed to go from Ar-Ras checkpoint any further.