'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Mon 15.12.08, Morning
Elijah Passage – Few
workers and few cars are entering Israel. The reason why will soon be
at Qalqiliya – The moment we enter the parking a driver approaches
us complaining about the very long lines and the slow inspection. Lately
people have to wait for two hours both in the morning and in the afternoon.
There is a very long line at
the exit from the town. One cannot see where it ends. Pedestrians are
not being checked, so large numbers of people leave their cabs and walk
through. I count up to 35 cars. We call the IDF Humanitarian Center.
The soldiers open one more lane where leaving cars are being checked.
Part of the vehicles are directed to the entrance of the town. Few cars
enter. Cars with Israeli license plates as well as cars with Palestinian
license plates undergo the same inspection.
All the soldiers are busy checking
cars and directing them through the roadblock. We measure half a minute
per car, and indeed, the line is getting somewhat shorter. A hummer
with three more soldiers arrives. They stop cars at random, inspect
the baggage and check certificates on the computer.
A steady flow of Israeli and
Palestinian cars is leaving the town, and they wait less than before.
The soldiers keep the two lanes open. We leave.
The entrance to Azzun is open.
Shvut Ami and the surrounding hills are empty. The junction at Jit
is open and we are on our way to Beit Iba.
Anabta – At the parking
noise and confusion. In the last few days Israeli Arabs have not been
permitted to enter Tulkarm with their cars, so many cars are parking
while people are being very frustrated. After having performed a few
errands we approach the roadblock. The moment we arrive the commander
tries to move us away from our regular spot, from which we can observe
both sides of the roadblock. He claims that we are interfering. When
,politely, we refuse to move, he threatens to stop the inspection of
the cars and to call the police. He actually does give an order to stop
the inspection. Another soldier leaves his post to shout at us and to
curse us. I try to call the IDF Humanitarian Center in order to complain,
but for some reason no contact is established. However, the commander
of the roadblock has calmed down. He sends the soldier back to his post
and returns to inspect the cars. Asnat crosses to the opposite side
of the road, and from there she observes the cars leaving the town,
while I remain standing on the same spot as before. “Much ado about
There is no line at the exit
from the town, since the inspection is very quick. At the entrance,
on the other hand, the line is very long and the inspection is much
more meticulous. Part of the Israeli drivers, who don’t know the new
regulations, reach the roadblock, where they have to turn back, and
so the line is delayed. Some of the drivers, who have special entrance
permits, have to explain and to argue…cabs are permitted to enter.
“Te’enim Passage” (Jubara)
– Today there are new reserve soldiers. They check us quickly and
let us through. We pass through gate 753 followed by the words “take
care!” and reach the roadblock at Ar-Ras.
Ar-Ras – The soldiers
are standing near the tower, and from there they let the cars from all
directions through without delay. They explain that they detain cars
only in cases of warning and they understand the distress of the Palestinians.
Not being aggressive they want to talk about Machsomwatch. We discuss
in a friendly way expressing different opinions that exist in Israeli