'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Mon 24.11.08, Afternoon

Elisheva E., Yona A., Tsiyona Sh. (reporting) Translation: Galia S.


13:50 – The checkpoint and the passage
are manned by reservists. The soldier opens the gate for us right away.
We see one of the children buses inside the village. The other one is
at the Schoolchildren's Gate and a soldier is inside the bus checking
it. Within a minute the soldier gets off and the bus enters the village
while the children wave goodbye.

The captain at the Schoolchildren's Gate
knows that we are from MachsomWatch but he asks Nadim to show him his
papers. Nadim declares that he is from Tira and the captain wants to
know where from he entered the village. Nadim explains how he has been
entering the village for the last six years.

Ar-Ras, Beit Lid 

Six reservists are standing at the junction
and checking the documents of people that are leaving or entering Tulkarm.
The lane to enter Tulkarm at the eastern post is still full of potholes
and dirt. One of the drivers chooses to pass on the other side of the
post. When the soldier asks him why he hasn't gone in the designated
lane, the driver tells him he has glass in the vehicle and he doesn't
want it to break. The soldier responds with "You must know"
and lets him pass.

Elisheva suggests that we go on via Beit
Lid. Last week she observed that at the exit from Beit Lid on road 557
there was a big inscription saying "The Arabs are Whores".
The inscription was carved into a beautiful slab of marble that had
served as a sign for an oil-mill in Beit Lid. We decided to visit the
oil-mill to find out whether the offenders have gone there. To our surprise,
what we see is a new, modern oil-mill (has been in existence for a year
and a half). The owner is reserved at first but after hearing about
the purpose of our visit, he is proud to show us the enterprise and
tell us that his sons have acquired the whole equipment in Italy, where
they have also learned more about olive oil making. Most of the oil
is for export, sold abroad for a lot of money through a factory in Israel
that bottles it.

A wonderful smell of baked goods and
hyssop comes from the other room. The man tells us that he lives in
Tulkarm but at the time of olive picking the whole family lives here.
He invites us to see the rooms and use the bathroom. We end up buying
each a bottle of olive oil. We are also treated to coffee and get his
wife's delicious Sambusak [a Mediterranean pastry with different fillings].
(For those who are interested, during the next two weeks you can buy
olive oil from him. After that the business will close until next year.)

The man seems to be less troubled by
the offensive inscription than we are. Making a good living is probably
much more important to him. This visit has lifted our spirits. First
of all, we have seen a family that makes a comfortable living, even
if it is an exception rather than the rule. Second, we gained from this
face-to face meeting. (We have been thinking about our checkpoint patrolling
project and arrived at the conclusion that it's important that such
face-to-face meetings be included in our itinerary. It's the best way
to promote our cause.

When we get to road 557, we see that
the beautiful slab of marble has turned into a notice board. The notice
invites people to a big gathering for the release of "dear brothers
in prison". (See Yona's photo).


15:30 – Three soldiers are standing
at the southern post. The soldier in the shed points his gun at the
vehicles. Documents are checked both at the entrance to Tulkarm and
at the exit. However, while the traffic at the entrance is streaming,
the end of the line at the exit can't be seen. When we leave the soldiers
start sending vehicles on their way without inspection and the traffic
starts streaming.