'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Azzun, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Wed 3.9.08, Morning
Passage Qalqiliya (Eliahu) 6:50
As usual, tens of workers, who are working in the settlement of Alfei Menashe, are waiting by the fence for their checking. Today the checking is very quick (later we discover the reason). Out of 248 workers who are gistered in the line (one of them is in charge) 170 went through. As the checking started at about 05:00, it meant that the rate was nearly 100 per hour, the last one left before 08:00.
From our experience we know that this is.not the usual speed, usually it finishes between 8:30-9:00.At this time the workers give up because it means they have lost a days work – the contractors don't wait for them that long, and they return home. Therefore they wait from 3:00 AM to be ahead in the line.
The people in the line complained bitterly about this problem. They told us that yesterday they left the passage demonstratively. This apparently is the reason that today we met a major and a captain from "Magav" who said they were there from 05:00, and counted how many people got through every hour. There was also a military policeman , who according to them, is always there (not always – according to our experience). Furthermore they said that there is no need to have more than one person checking – fact being that today it went fast. Question – what will happen tomorrow or after tomorrow, when they are not around.
No lines, fast passage, we did not wait.
Azzun- Both entrances open.
Anata Checkpoint 9:30-9:45 (On the way back from Beit Iba)
When we arrived there were no cars at the Checkpoint. We were greeted by the checkpoint commander , but for some reason they started checking the vehicles very throroughly, opening the baggage compartment, the engine, and every bag which was in the car. The passengers were asked to leave the car, and stand beside it. After this repeated itself for the third time, we thought that this "extra motivation" was due to our presence and we left.
About 10 vehicles of the Blue Police – The gate to the v illage is open and a tractor is cleaning the area of the
passage to the gate. We requested permission to enter, and went in.
Checkpoint Ar Ras (Chava 8)
Also here the checkpoint is empty and the soldiers bored. A private car with a man and a women , citizens of
returning from shopping, has been stopped.Both people have to leave the car..The baggage compartment is opened and every bag checked – meat, bamia (vegetable) clothes, shoe boxes, each shoe is taken out, all according to the instructions of the soldier. Then he examines the inside of the car. After all that they are permitted to continue on their way. About 200 meters there is another checkpoint – Gate number 753. We looked if also there they will go through another such a strict checking – but luckily there only their papers were checked.And they were not asked to leave the car.
A taxi arrives from Tulkarm. They are asked for all their papers – but what do they have to check? A soldier
is apparently " hyperactive" and bored. When we arrived he said something to himself. Another car arrived and he checks it very thoroughly – instructs to open the engine hood, the baggage compartment. I thought to mysel .
For what reason, can a soldier at the checkpoint, harass every Palestinian that passes through . Is he bored, is he nervous? Can he do whatever he feels like? The commander of the checkpoint, just looked on without saying a thing.