'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Sun 3.2.08, Afternoon

Alix W., Susan L. (reporting)


Neither rhyme nor reason could be found in today's monitoring of
checkpoints in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). There was
neither order nor sense or logical reason for what we saw, and the
absence of common sense, as well as reasonableness reinforce the
notion that this Occupation is all about humiliation and

12:25 Habla Agricultural Gate (on the seam line)

A calm, peaceful day after last week's storms and a typical scene at
an agricultural gate, opened for but a few hours a day to let sheep,
palm trees atop a pickup truck and "Alte Zachen" through. Four
soldiers and a Hummer watch us with interest, their days' work being
otherwise undisturbed.

12:45 Qalqiliya

A steady stream of vehicles in both directions, sometimes stopped,
one after the other, for two or three minutes, then allowed to pass,
again for two or three minutes with no discernible pattern other than
its randomness.

15:30 Anabta

Little traffic, no checking, but six pedestrians, making their way
through the checkpoint in the direction of Tulkarm, are made to lift
up their jackets, pirouette, open their little black plastic bags –
and all, for what?

15:15 Gate 753

A line of vehicles, including a donkey cart, the Jubara taxi and
another car wait in line at the separation barrier where there are
three soldiers, working slowly, oh, so slowly. We wait, in
solidarity, with the others. Two of the cars wend their way along the
separation roadway to the one or two houses perched on the western
side in the distance, half a kilometer or more away. Three
pedestrians wait also to cross, and three soldiers check in one book
to give the ok. On the eastern side of the separation barrier, trucks
wait, one piled high with cabbages. The Jubara taxi's five male
passengers tumble out of the car, each one of them methodically
checked, then made to walk across the roadway (why?) before they can
pile back into the waiting taxi. We are eventually waved across too,
but it takes ten minutes to cross.

16:25 Ar-Ras

As we arrive, we see one of the three soldiers here yank at a young
man's sweat shirt as he makes his way, on foot, towards Tulkarm.
Completely uncalled for, as is this same soldier's insistence on
arguing about checkpoints, '67 borders, the need for one state, etc.
No checking either from Tulkarm or from Qalqiliya, hardly any
traffic. Two women waiting on the southern side of the checkpoint are
waved at with a flick of one soldier's wrists – go away, get out of

Gate 753

On our return, having been freely waved through before, we are now
asked for our "permit;" next, whether we always come through Jubara,
our IDs, and, last, but not lest, "What do you do and why do you do
it?" They know nothing of MachsomWatch and seem to think that "human
rights" has to do with waiting in line for our turn to be called to
drive across the separation barrier. Neither rhyme, nor reason!