'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Mon 14.4.08, Afternoon

Bilhah A, Tamara H., Elisheva E., Yona A (reporter) Translator: Orna B.

Jubara, Ar-ras
13:50 Three illegals are sitting at gate 753. In
answer to our question one of the soldiers answers that they have been
waiting for an hour and that they will continue waiting until there is
a reply from the advanced command post.
14:00 Traffic at the Ar-ras checkpoint is at a
complete standstill. The soldiers are training for an incident. There
is a long queue of 15 cars from the direction of Tulkarm, and 5 cars
from the direction of Qalqiliya. 12 pedestrians have abandoned their
blazing cars due of the heat outside, and are trying to cross on foot.
The exercise lasts 5 minutes. At the end of the exercise the soldiers
give the Palestinians an educational lesson. A section of the queue is
told to go back: cab drivers who had advanced beyond a white plastic
separation mark the soldiers had put by the roadside as a Stop signal.
The soldiers make them turn around and go back to the end of the queue.
They do turn around but stop by the side of the queue, thus blocking the
lane for cars arriving from Qalqiliya.
A soldier stands in front of the road
block pointing his weapon towards some pedestrians. Two women with
three children are advancing on foot on the road to Qalqiliya. Again
the soldiers stop the cars. Two soldiers advance towars the cars and
argue with the drivers. Cars travelling to Jubara are allowed to
overtake the queue and pass without inspection.
The soldiers return to the check post and explain to us that if
one car advances beyond the white line into the 'sterileinfo-icon' area, all the
other cars approach as well, and if there is an explosion they are
endagering the soldiers - "those are the instructions".
The soldiers shout to the cars from afar: "Kulu sayara lawara"...
There is a very long queue of cars and not one is moving. The heat is
weighing heavy, and more people are leaving the cars and cross the
checkpoint on foot. A soldier checks the papers of everyone who passes.
A pickup truck with furniture arrives form Jubara. According to
the driver, a resident of Hawara, he  is taking the furniture home from
Jubara, but they will not allow him to pass. He awaits to speak with
the checkpoint commander. Later the driver is persuaded to go back to
Jubara. A quarter of an hour later he returns and this time he goes
The line of vehicles lengthens and the number of people crossing
on foot grows. The soldiers argue with the driver of a private car and
instruct him to wait aside as a punishment for advancing beyond the
permitted area. After a long argument the driver pulls aside, and they
are beginn to let cars through but very slowly. Each car is inspected
at leisure and the soldier from the observation tower tries to chivvy
his friends - "Do something!" but they ignore him.
14:40 A cab carrying a middle aged couple arrives
for inspection. The 47 years old woman had forgotten her idenitity card
at home. The soldiers refuse to let her pass. After failing to convince
the soliders the couple descend form the cab and start walking by the
roadside towards Tulkarm. The soldiers ahve a short consultation and
decide to let them through after all. The couple return to the cab.
The soldiers managed to create a serious traffic jam. Cars are
standing across the road in an attempt to turn around and go back, or
stand aside, following the soldiers' instructions. Cars arriving from
Qalqiliya cannot go through. Insructions are received as a result of
Elisheva's phone calls to the brigade. "let them through!, release the
blockage!" the soldier in the observation tower shouts to the soldiers
in the check post: "let them through!" let them through!" The soldiers
at the check post ignore the instruction. They check each permit and
delay each vehicle for a few moments. The soldier Y approaches the
observation tower in order to find out who had issued the instruction ,
then he goes back to the post and continues to inspect slowly and
14:50 The sergeant who had gone towards the cars
to try and sort them out, returns to the check post. He had not heard
the instructions from headquarters and again signals to the cars to go
14:55 Three buses are in the queue. One of the
buses approached the check post. The soldiers get on the bus to
inspect. The bus is full of young children.
15:00 From headquarters instructions to release
the blockage are re-issued. The soldier from the observation tower
shouts to the soldiers in the check post.  The soldier Y approaches the
tower again and asks "who said so?" and goes back to the check post. He
lets 2 cars through without inspection and again starts to inspect
every paper slowly. The sergeant walks around between the cars, arguing
with drivers. Passengers descend from the cars laden with parcels. It
is hard to sit in the car in this heat.
Despite the instuctions the two soldiers at the check post, get on
every bus and inspect the papers of the adults accompanying the
The sergeant returns to the check post. Again traffic comes to a halt. Punishment? This is a war of nerves.  "who moved the white road block? Have you seen who moved the road
block?" shouts the sergeant. He refers to the white separation
marker the soldiers had put down as a Stop signal in front of the
15:05 A military vehicle with three soldiers
arrives. Reinforcements. It's hot and everything moves slowly. The
Palestinians say that in the past few days there have been problems
each time there was a change of shift. Now 5 soldiers are standing at
the check post and interrogate every car. Throughout the whole time
pedestrians who had abandoned the cars stuck in the queue, are
continuing to cross on foot.
17:30 A blue police jeep stands on the road at
the exit from the checkpoint, near the junction. The policemen stop
cars with yellow number plate coming out from Tulkarm. We stop on the
opposite side of the road. The policeman warns us that stopping by the
roadside can result in a 250 IS fine. We return and park our car at
the cabs' parking lot, near the junction. 
At the checkpoint itself there is one car the exit and one at the entrance, and a soldier who says to us"Hi"...