'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Wed 23.7.08, Afternoon
14:15 – At the Figs checkpoint 25 cars are in line to enter Israel. No inspection on exiting Israel to the West Bank.
14:25 – Gate 735 (the Schoolchildren's Gate) is empty. There are no cars and no people.
A new facility has been set up on the road in front of the checkpoint from the direction of Ar-Ras. The cars have to stop there and wait for the soldier's hand signal to proceed to the checkpoint even though there is scarcely any traffic.
There are 15 cars at the exit from Tulkarm toward Qalqiliya but they are moving forward. The officer, Omer, is the commander of a number of checkpoints. He talks to us politely. Surprisingly, he has never heard about the Red Crescent and has now seen their vehicle for the first time when we asked him why it is standing and not going forward.
14:40 – The Schoolchildren's Gate again. We cannot pass because in front of us there are 3 cars that are waiting for the soldier's signal. Tami approaches the soldiers and sees them talking. She asks why the line isn't moving and the answer is "shifts' changing". Pleasant changing!
Finally we can pass and then we see two pedestrians waiting for permission to pass. They have a passage permit (they are not "illegals") [in Israel without a residence permit], but they are waiting for the soldiers to finish checking the cars. Only then will they have time to deal with them. Four soldiers are at the checking point.
15:20 – No checks at the entrance to Anabta, but the cars are waiting for the soldier's hand signal, which, it is noteworthy, comes soon. On exiting Anabta it is the same.
The soldiers are nice. One of them is from Uzbekistan and the other is from Ukraine.
It has been a quiet day with thin traffic and no incidents.