'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Wed 17.9.08, Morning
Qalqiliya (Eliyahu Passage)
06:55 – Construction workers who work in Alfe Menashe are waiting for the inspection beyond the fence, as usual. Today an officer of the military police has opened another inspection post, and therefore about 150 people have managed to pass so far. The inspection started at 05:00. The workers say that in the last days the inspections have been carried out at reasonable pace.
There is a line of more than 10 settlers' cars, leaving for work in Israel.
07:05 – No lines in either side. We don't stay.
09:50 – When we get closer, we see a minibus beside the road and all passengers, who have been told to get out, stand there waiting for the inspection. In the meantime there is already a line of 12 cars that have come from the direction of Tulakrm. As we arrive, they are sent to go on their way. The following cars pass quickly. Some 5 cars pass and then a taxi is stopped and the passengers are asked to get out. A minute later they can get back in. in other words, the checks are random.
10:00 – Only 2 cars are in line.
While this is what is going on at the exit from Tulkarm, at the entrance the soldier just lifts a finger and the cars pass. He stops Israeli cars when he thinks the passengers are Jewish and talks to them, maybe warning them. As a matter of fact, a car with Jewish passengers does arrive here by mistake. They have thought it is the way to road 6.
All the time we see only 2 soldiers, one in each direction. At the entrance to the pillbox there is a pile of food portions on closed, disposable plates. We wonder if they have no time to eat but they say it is from a long time ago. Another soldier appears and one of the two soldiers can go to the rest room.
10:05 – The checkpoint is empty. Few cars pass.
10:10 – We leave.
Ar-Ras checkpoint (Farm 8)
10:25 – On both sides there are no vehicles.
Agricultural Workers Gate 753 (southern entrance to Jubara)
10:30 – A tractor with an empty trailer has been waiting for over 5 minutes. Standard practice at this checkpoint involves writing down the ID card details of the entering people (except for Jubara residents); to make sure they come back the same day. This is the first thing the soldiers do and then the tractor is checked. The Advanced Command Post is consulted over the phone and the driver is questioned ("Is all this for personal use?" What, the tractor?). Eventually they let him pass.
Two youths with the right permits come back from the direction of the village. Their personal details are checked in a notebook and then erased.
A pick-up truck with a permit is at the entrance to the village. Two large bags of clothes are on it. Another consultation over the phone and since the bags of clothes don't look as if they are for personal use, the pick-up truck is sent back.
A man without a permit arrives holding a few small bags. They are all opened and checked. What he brings along is pitas, rolls and also some clothes. The soldiers rebuke him asking why he buys food in Taiyiba when it's cheaper in Tulkarm. When the inspection is over, he continues on his way.
A Jubara resident whose wife is an Israeli citizen complains that sometimes she is sent to pass through the Figs Passage. He turns to an officer at the DCO [District Coordination Office of the IDF Civil Administration that handles passage permits] and he promises him to take care of it. The soldier explains to him the (guiding) rationale of the Israeli bureaucracy (which is, in the territories the main tool of oppression): "You see, it is actually an entrance to Israel, but only for Palestinians with a permit".