Monday 28.5.07 PM
15.00-18.00 Ezyon DCL. The new waiting room was almost empty although quite a lot of cars were outside. An elderly woman approached us with a friendly smile. She came to get a magnetic card in order to work as a housecleaner in Israeli homes. She lives in Daheishe, her husband and sons do not work. Although she had all needed papers, including a letter from one of her employees and a
receipt stamped 120 shekels worth, she was told to come next month. The loudspeaker on the wall emit loud and unpleasant sounds constantly; Shouts, imitation of jackal howls, music started and stopped. The soldier at the window shouts at us: "You are not allowed to be here". He asked for our ID and threatened to call the police. To the Palestinians he shouted in Arabic:
"You all go away"; "There are no Magnetic Cards, go". When one of the men approached the turnstile he shouted: "Go down the stairs". Nobody knew what they were supposed to do to get an answer to their queries. Our attempt to get answers by phone were in vain, as has been the case lately. We asked the soldiers to address the people a little more politely; as a result the loudspeaker sounded some more animal howls, loud laughter and unbearable screeching music.
Bethlehem CP. Much traffic, rush hour. Only 2 windows operating, one without a hand identifying machine. Most people approached the second window. Movement was rapid, but a female soldier, standing on the bridge above, occasionally yelled at the people to be quiet, although nothing but a murmur of conversation was heard. Even a small child who played innocently by his mother's side was reprimanded loudly to keep quiet.
Wednesday PM, 30.5.07
Ezyon DCL: The parking lot is full, but in the waiting area only half a dozen people, sitting like obedient schoolchildren. Otherwise, a voice on the loudspeaker barks, they will not be served.
Those seeking permits need to shout, because communication with the window is poor. Then they are let in. But there are a few seeking magnetic cards, and they lack numbers. We extract a promise that they will be let in when the pressure inside abates, but an hour goes by, the
computer apparently crashes, and besides -- the soldiers have left their posts for their afternoon tea...
A man has been summoned by "captain Micha" to bring medications to his brother, who has been held by the GSS for questioning since the day before yesterday. He was told to deliver them "at the gate". But nobody seems to know what gate. And nobody seems to care. Not when he asks. Not when we ask. Finally one of our calls yields results, and he is told to deliver the drugs at the DCL, but not before he goes in and out of the shed a couple of times, still in some confusion.
Bethlehem CP: 2 booths operating, no queues.
Thursday, 31.5.07, AM
07:00, Bethlehem CP. By the time we got there it was empty, which means that it had opened in time, and checking had been quick and efficient.
08:45, Ezyon DCL. 7 persons waiting for permits were queuing in front of the turnstiles. They aid they had been standing like this for over an hour. Then the turnstiles opened and the whole group was let in.
Thursday AM, 31.5.07
06.45 Anata. Many children on their way to school and apparently to a trip. Much traffic of pedestrians and cars. Everything runs quickly.
07.15 Ar-Ram. Very little traffic. An old woman and a man are sent back. Otherwise no detainees - people learned the rules and submit to them.
07.50 Qalandiya. Fewer prisoners' families are waiting to pass. At 08.00 sharp they are summoned to the check-up. The woman soldier barks at them, but otherwise the atmosphere is one of courtesy and efficiency, as if it were a "normal" border.
Sunday, 27.5.07, PM
13:30, Jit Junction. There is very little movement on the roads. People tell us that the army is in Nablus every night from 1:00 am till 6:00 am, mainly in the Jasmina neighborhood. They say that this has been going on for the last 60 days. One of them gives us first hand information, his house was completely flattened, and he, his wife and baby had to move to temporary place in the old city of Nablus.
14:25, Beit Iba. Few cars and very few pedestrians. We notice that there are fewer students than usual. Exiting Nablus we saw only one bus, and that was a mini bus not a regular one. Even less movement from last week.
Thursday, 31.5.07, PM
15:30–16:00, Jit Junction. There is a line of 55 vehicles from the east. We call the Army Hotline and are told that it can't be helped. There will be a strict security situation for the next few days. 16:12–19:30, Beit Iba. A truck driver not having a permit for his truck was caught taking a back road around the checkpoint and was detained. Later on we talked to the man’s father, and he told us that his son was taken at 20:50 to the Kedumim DCL (District Coordination Office) with the truck. At the Army Hotline we were told that the truck had been confiscated for 30 days. On Friday afternoon the father called and said that the family had mortgaged the truck from the bank and they pay a high interest rate. If his son can't work for a month it will be devastating. There were about 60 pedestrians on line when we arrived. Later on, there were very few pedestrians from Nablus. The line moved fast. No line formed for pedestrians to Nablus.
Sunday, 27.5.07, PM
15:50, Anabta. About 15 vehicles are waiting in line on the road going to Tulkarm. But as we approach the checkpoint we see that there was a change of shift and that is what caused the delay. The soldiers passed all the vehicles from both sides without any fuss, no checking what so ever. All vehicles passed, including Israeli plate vehicles.
16:25, Ar-Ras. No cars waiting, no pedestrians.
16:40, Jubara. Uneventful
Thursday, 31.5.07, PM
14:06, Eastern entrance to Qalqilya. 68 cars on line leaving the city. In coming traffic is not checked. We call the Army Hotline.
14:30. It is a total mess. Horns are beeping, the out going cars have formed a triple line. There is no room for in coming cars, and they must take a slight detour into an area to the north of the main road on a dirt road. We call the Hotline again.
14:55. The line starts to move very fast, and the vehicles are allowed to pass through with barely a check.
15:00, Tzofim CP (near the Qalqilya CP). We are not allowed to go through. Only residents of Tzofim can go through this CP.
Wednesday AM, 30.5.07
05.30-07.15. Tarqumiya - We see none of the vehicles which carry workers. At the CP we understood why: A BP car with an officer in charge tried to force new parking regulations. He made the drivers park on the road margins, far away from the CP, thus making the workers'
walk longer. Several minutes after he left, the vehicles were back to parking as usual.
A long queue of workers wait to be checked. It took about 35 minutes from the back of the tunnel to the checking post. Still, by 6.50 few people were left. Shortly after 7am, the gate opened for the 3 buses with prisoners' families, who had arrived at 06.30.
Sunday AM, 27.5.07, 06:45-10:00
We met with the headmaster and teachers of the Ibrahmiyya boys school and the principal of the nearby girls school. They told us of what they have to endure daily, on their way to school, and of their long detentions at the CP.
Road 60. Huge, fresh dirt mounds, mocking proof to all the declarations about the dismantling of CPs.
Dura el-Pawar: A flying CP is set up at the side of Dura. Vehicles pass slowly through after being checked. 2 pedestrians were checked. After returning their IDs, the soldier lifted the parcels from the ground and handed it to the elderly man, a gesture of decency to warm the heart.
Pharmacy CP. No soldiers, and the kids went through without problems. The janitor of the Ibrahmiyya School says that some teachers are detained at the CP in front of the shops, at the Palestinian entrance to the Cave. When we arrive there was one detainee. The soldier said he was detained for an hour and a half. "I am entitled to detain, and in my eyes all the Arabs are terrorists". He confirmed that he detains the teachers too. But when we phoned to his commander, he immediately released the man.