'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Wed 12.11.08, Afternoon
Anabta – There are no lines on either side. Few vehicles are passing through. A traffic policeman is checking entering Israeli cars.
Tami walks up to the soldier but he immediately tells her to leave. She is not permitted to come near. Tami points at a sign in the name of “Women in Blue and White” and asks: “How did that sign get there? Did you put it up?” He: “They put it up and left.” Tami: “ So we’ll leave soon as well.”
We leave at 16.35
Jubara, Gate 753 (in the past called “The Children’s Gate”). A pickup truck and its Palestinian driver are detained. Next to them an ecumenical volunteer is talking on the phone. We understand from her that the driver has been detained for an hour and a half already, since he doesn’t obey the commander’s order to pick up the cigarette butts from the ground….she is calling the Red Cross and the Civilian Administration and files a complaint.
The commander asks me to move the car away, since it is blocking the traffic. I continue driving towards the fence, stop the car and wait for Tami. She returns and tells the following story: The driver had been smoking. He put out his cigarette and threw the butt on the ground. (It’s not clear if he was ordered to do so or not.) The commander ordered him to pick up the butt he had thrown. He picked it up. The commander ordered him to pick up all the butts on the ground. He refused and that’s why he was detained. The commander confirmed the story.
We call the IDF Humanitarian Centre, and the woman on duty (who gets his ID number) says that she will file a complaint against the checkpoint commander.
Tami to the commander: “Isn’t the situation difficult enough? Do you have to make it even harder?” He insists: “I don’t have to clean up their dirt.”
Tami bends over, collects all the butts in her hand and asks him to let the driver go.
The commander: “It’s not your job.” She: “It’s my moral duty.”
He lets the driver leave.
We drive on to Ar-Ras. We ttake the ecumenical volunteer, who lives in Tul Karem, with us from gate 753 to the road block at Ar-Ras, where she gets a lift home.
The road block is completely dark. Only along the road is there some faint light. There is hardly any traffic. We walk up to the soldiers to greet them, but they don’t answer. To them we don’t exist.