'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Beit Iba, Jubara (Kafriat), Tue 15.1.08, Morning
Biet Iba. 06.45 – 08.40. On our way to the checkpoint we see a very long line of workers at the entrance to Israel near Qalqiliya. As this is not the first time we have noticed this we decide to stop and see what is happening.
The cold is bitter. Many pedestrians at the entrance to Nablus, students returning to their studies.
Those entering are checked now and again by a soldier acting in a very lordly manner and deciding who should be checked. Women are not checked. The young are. An elderly man who has tried to bypass is stopped and his ID taken from him and soon after that another man is stopped. They are kept back for about 10 minutes and released to go on their way.
There are few cars in both directions which pass within a few minutes.
At the exit of Nablus there is one line for pedestrians but if this becomes crowded another line is opened.
07.30 A young boy with a swollen hand arrives at the checkpoint with his uncle who is taking him to hospital but they are not allowed to enter as he does not have an identifying document. The soldiers tell the uncle that the boy can only pass with his father but his father is a teacher. We turn to the humanitarian center which promised to speak to the DCO. During our entire watch there was no one from the DCO present. After another few minutes they are allowed through.
While we were there, there were intervals when there was no electricity. The turnstiles cannot be activated from afar and the Palestinians are sent to the humanitarian lines. When the magnometer starts to work again they are made to return to the usual line and if they try to go through anyhow they are scolded and asked if they do not understand what is said to them. The magnometer squeaks less. The Palestinians have learned to take off anything which can cause it to do so . Only the shoes squeak.IDs which are given in are thrown back at the people and sometimes fall on the floor.
08.00 A man who is mentally handicapped is made fun of by the soldiers all of whom seem to enjoy this immensely. “Listen. Go back. Come forward.”
08.40 The situation at the checkpoint has not changed. Checking is fairly quick, quiet, random. We leave.
'Anabta. 08.50 – 09.30. When we arrived there was a loud argument between the person checking the cars leaving Tulkarm and the Arab driver of an Israeli truck who wants to go in and in the meantime the line behind lengthens. More than 25 cars. The driver gives the soldier his permit to enter and is allowed to do so and then the other cars are checked quickly and, usually, the taxis are those checked. This takes about 15 minutes. Sometimes people in a hurry get out and go through on foot. A man who wants to ask the soldier something is asked to raise his clothes and then to come forward. There are many people leaving Tulkarm and so there are 15-20 cars all the time. At the entrance there are fewer cars which are not checked. Sometimes a truck is stopped.
Ar-Ras. 09.15 – 09.30 . The soldiers are surprised to see us and ask politely what we want. There are few cars most of them at the exit. They are carefully checked. A taxi with passengers is stopped and the passengers checked.
At the gate of Jubara in the direction of Ar-Ras those entering are checked. Pedestrians and a man with a cart. All enter. .