'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Sun 18.5.08, Afternoon
At the entry point to Israel (though many kilometers behind the Green Line),
30 vehicles lined up in two rows at the “terminal” like building.
13:50 Qalqiliya Checkpoint
No line of vehicles coming out of Qalqiliya, no line entering the city. Everything flows smoothly.
At the junction with the apartheid road, going up the hill towards Enav and westwards, a Hummer is parked at the side of the road where “back to back” used to take place.
At the checkpoint itself, a large Safari and a row of stones placed across the roadway, halving the width. Nevertheless, traffic flows freely, as a party – of soldiers -- seems to be taking place behind the wall, out of sight of the checkpoint.
From Tulkarm, about 12 vehicles stand waiting, allowing the coffee man, for once, to have a clientele. Checking exists, but it’s quick. Still, the line is never less than ten.
No problem getting a soldier to open the gate: he ambles over, swinging the key!
17:15 Gate 753
For the first time in a while, nobody waits, no vehicles in line to cross the separation barrier. On the way back, IDs of people in a truck coming from Jubara are checked by the soldiers at the slowly growing checking area.
It’s so quiet, one can almost enjoy the bucolic atmosphere! Still, a car is checked including its trunk, as the passenger continues to drink his can of soda. The commander isn’t even around at first but emerges from the coolness of the awning, behind the concrete barrier, to take his place in the center of the road as trucks wobble across the deep pot holes in the roadway, one by one -- a peaceful Occupation -- an oxymoron, if ever there was one.