'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Wed 25.6.08, Afternoon

Observers: 
Sara P., Tami C. (reporting) Translation: Galia S.
Jun-25-2008
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Afternoon

After a few days of complaints from the Qalqiliya checkpoint which we have dealt with, made both by our members of the shift at the checkpoint and over the phone, we have found out that the soldiers there are reservists who are not yet familiar with their job and this is the reason for the long lines. We have turned with these problems to the DCO of Qalqiliya [District Coordination Office of the IDF Civil Administration that handles passage permits.] and they have always been helpful trying to find solutions. One of these difficult days, the head of the DCO himself spent hours in the area. In the light of the difficult situation, we decide to start at Qalqiliya.

14:20 – We get to Qalqiliya checkpoint. The line to leave the city is short and the passage is quick. At the entrance to the city about 20 cars are waiting in line. Some of the cars are checked and pass quickly, but sometimes the check takes longer and, of course, everything slows down. The soldiers, one of whom is a lieutenant and the other a private (a reservist, as mentioned), do their job politely and patiently.

Anabta

16:20 – A shift of reservists is being replaced. The soldier at the entrance to the checkpoint heading in the direction of Tulkarm wants to know the reason for our presence there. We explain that we have come to visit the checkpoint, to which the soldier says that this is what the State Comptroller is for. He cannot help adding that we destroy our country. I have to admit that hearing this I felt as I haven't felt in a long time and I snapped at him, "Don't dare to speak to me like this because I was one of the founders of this state". I didn't go on to say how ashamed of it I am today.

The other soldiers seem very different but the traffic moves slowly on. Since the line is not long neither is the waiting time. It takes a few minutes for each car and pedestrians pass without inspection.

At 17:00 we pass the Figs Checkpoint after a soldier opens the gate for us. The village of Jubara is quiet and there is no traffic. At the Schoolchildren's Gate three reservists are resting in the heat of the day. Walking from here to Ar-Ras, we meet tired reservists, curious to know what we are doing there. We have a short talk. Very few cars pass.