'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Sun 11.5.08, Afternoon
12:58 Gate 1395: Habla
A Hummer stands parked on the separation barrier road, engine running;
there's no line, and we're told by the soldier that the gate will stay
open until 13:15. He's no idea when it will be open later in the
13:01 -- a tractor and a truck full of sand stop to cross to Habla,
the drivers going up to the soldiers with their IDs.
An acquaintance from one of the nurseries comes with his bicycle,
laden with computer parts, asking us to see if we can't have the gate
open earlier in the morning. It's 7:15 now, should be 6:45 or earlier,
since many people don't get to work on time. Evidently, the army
changed to a later opening time recently, and it should be put back
13:10 -- another bicycle crosses as a truck, laden with young citrus
trees waits on the other side. The soldiers poke around the trees and
look under the truck before letting it pass to the far side, and only
then is its permit checked against the list by the soldier standing
against the concrete boulder.
13:16 -- all four sets of gates are closed by two soldiers. One
soldier takes a broom and sweeps the "tracker's path" on the far side
of the checkpoint. With the gate on our side now closed, we see a
notice, pinned to it about the opening and closing times:
Four relaxed soldiers. No line in either direction. Some cars made to
slow down, usually not checked, cars with Israeli license plates go in
and out of the checkpoint freely. When vehicles and IDs are checked,
the line grows to five. A taxi, going in the Tulkarm direction is made
to stop, and a soldier takes an ID of a young male passenger to the
military lookout tower to check on the computer. Meanwhile, the lone
soldier continues to wave vehicles on, including other taxis.
16:50 -- five minutes later, the ID is returned to the waiting taxi.
Quick opening of the gate
17:10 Gate 753
One soldier questions the driver of a car entering Jubara. No waiting
The DCO's white jeep is parked with engine running. A long, open bed
Palestinian truck, bearing hundreds of sacks bearing Israeli markings
waits on the side. Two young men say they have been here for one hour
and a half. The problem: the material on the truck. It "could be used
for other purposes." What's the material? It's "for earth."
Fertilizer! They are "checking it." This particular truck is going in
the direction of Tulkarm. A similar one is parked on the other side of
the checkpoint, going south, towards Qalqiliya.
As we stand, the DCO asks for one of the two young men's IDs. Just
then, a huge army truck arrives, parks, engine running, so the noise
is deafening. Change of shift. The second young man is called over
from his flatbed truck, his ID checked, and with some maneuvering,
they're on their way.