'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Tue 11.3.08, Afternoon
At the West Bank prison, the routine continues. The soldiers try hard not to talk to us.
06:30 – On our way we notice a long line of people who try to enter Israel.
06:45 – 07:00 – A small number of cars are waiting at the exit from Qalqiliya. The soldiers are bored, slow and consistent. The traffic is flowing slowly as if nothing is important.
08:45 – 09:15 – About 10 cars are waiting in line at the entrance. The cargo of each truck or pick-up truck is checked. Ten minutes later the line gets considerably shorter. At the exit from Tulkarm the end of the line of cars cannot be seen. According to our check, it has taken 20 minutes for 30 cars to pass. The soldiers carry out the routine checks slowly.
09:30 – Our request to open the gate lock is met with a soldier's defiant question "How does the fact that a Palestinian tries to stab a soldier seem to you?" The checkpoint commander prevents him from striking up a conversation with us and comes to open the gate lock himself. He asks us not to talk to the soldiers at Ar-Ras, too, adding that he will know about it if we do. We ask if the same is true for the Blue and White women [right wing activists] and we get a straightforward answer 'Of course not, they are for us'.
On our way out, after a visit at Abu Hatem's, we wait in front of a locked gate about 15 minutes until two soldiers come to let us leave to the open road.
Only soldiers are here.
09:45 – 10:15 – There is scarcely any traffic. The soldiers are attentive to the people who pass through the checkpoint and there is no line. One person is detained because of a baseball bat lying beside him. About 15 minutes after we arrive, he is allowed to leave following a permission given over the phone. All that time the soldiers have been playing around with the bat explaining to the detainee that it is his unlucky day and that they have to check carefully because of what happened at Jubara.
A footnote: Did it or didn't it happen? So far I have noticed no news concerning a stabbing attempt of a soldier at Jubara checkpoint.