Weekly Digest 27.1.08-2.2.08 | Machsomwatch
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Weekly Digest 27.1.08-2.2.08

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Monday, 4 February, 2008

Bethlehem Area

Tuesday PM, 29.1.08

A very cold, overcast, threatening afternoon.

Ezyon DCL. Two 20 years old waiting. One, from Hebron, had been summoned by the GSS. He had been inside but was told to wait (in the unheated) reception area and had been waiting for an hour.

Bethlehem CP. A private security guard at the entrance, 2 windows open, but almost no one passing. Within minutes, some groups arrived, and passed quickly.

Nablus Area

Sunday PM, 27.01.08

Beit Iba - Israeli contractors' trucks and SUVs again punctuate the CP landscape.Traffic lights are being installed at the vehicle checking area, and the new roadway dug up, and re-cemented, for the necessary electrical work. The dog with its soldier keeper hold up an ambulance, checking whatever there is to check. A mass of brand new jeans are offloaded from a porter's cart onto the wet roadway. Three soldiers pat and pat again, three large sacks of flour or rice on another porter's cart. The newly improved CP has the same kind of large puddles and sticky mud as after last winter's rains. 14:30. An ambulance wails its way from Deir Sharaf, and is waved on its way by a soldier and wails its way into the city beyond. A soldier takes a young man into the lock up and is followed by the CO who, like his men, exchanges not a word with us. A plethora of soldiers at the vehicle checking area, as well as at the pedestrian zone. Everything is thoroughly checked. Brand new blankets, in their transparent plastic covering, are opened and checked. Bags, briefcases and women's handbags are invasively entered. Soldiers' hands burrow into the corners, pull out and study folded papers, fondle yet other carrier bags. Young men, at least 80 in the lines behind the two turnstiles, have to remove belts, sometimes shoes, and always coats on this cold winter's afternoon. Many wander into the humanitarian line to try their luck at passage there. A soldier shout out, in Arabic, non stop, "Nobody under the age of 45." The rest of the time, he yells in Hebrew at everybody or bellows questions at all the men, sometimes at women and children. At the pedestrian checking area, two soldiers stand behind the table, pointing their guns at the men behind the turnstiles, or poking their guns into the bags or briefcases proffered for inspection on the table in front of them.

Qalqiliya Area

Sunday PM, 27.01.08
13:00 Jubara. The usual blue police car and the usual maze to get hrough the plastic barricades into the OPT. We were not stopped incoming but on our return, a soldier told us off.
A-Ras. 2 soldiers running, guns in hand. They stop a horse and cart, making it turn back towards 3 men who've walked, on foot from the village. The men are related. Their story: A horse and cart were stolen, and they found it in the Jubara area fields, and now want to get back home. All have magnetic cards and permits, but no way can they go through the
village of Jubara, which is a ghetto for village residents only. Who knows how they got into the village in the first place. The soldiers don't care. All they know is that these men must go back to Jubara. The oldest one balks, saying they are not youngsters, and sits down defiantly as the others proceed back towards the village. Meanwhile, the soldier in the crow's nest receives telephone instructions that the soldier left at the CP is on no account to carry out vehicle checking on his own. So, where there was no line of waiting vehicles from Tulkarm a few minutes ago, a line now begins to grow. What to do? They can't be in Jubara, are not residents, have no permits to go through. The idea is that they go to Taibeh, in Israel proper, and get to Qalqiliya from there.
14:00 Anabta. No line to Tulkarm, no line from Tulkarm. All moves quickly when, suddenly, a blue police jeep arrives, and starts stopping Palestinian vehicles. Police harassment replaces army harassment.Are the men in the back wearing seat belts?
Qalqiliya,
15:45. 12 vehicles in line towards Qalqiliya are handled swiftly. Papers of the few Israeli vehicles are checked, one soldier calling out numbers as the other consults a sheet of paper.The cheery soldier says that they have received instructions "not to make trouble for the Palestinians."
15:55 Habla. We expected the seam line gate to open at 16:00, but a group of waiting people say it will only open at 17:00. No such indication on the gate, whose yellow sign has long, long ago forgotten all traces of such markings. The greengrocer says the new hours (17:00-18:15) are based on the wishes of its users.