'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Te'enim Crossing, Wed 14.1.09, Afternoon

Observers: 
Tammie C., Dalia G.
14/01/2009
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Afternoon

Translating Natanya

16.20 Anabta.
There is no line at the entrance. At the exit about 10 cars, which are moving.

Tammie gets out of the car and goes to the soldiers while I wait inside. The soldier runs to her shouting "No entry! This is a restricted military area!"
She asks to see the order and he shows her a sign whichsays "Palestinian area." Tammie explains to him,  "the sign is illegal…and if it indeed a Palestinian area, what are you doing here?"
The commander joined us, pushed the soldier aside and talked with Tammie.  He said that he was a student of software engineering at Tel Aviv university
. This reserve duty has come at a bad time for him but he was doing his best. Disregarding the soldier who shouted at Tammie, the general atmosphere at the checkpoint was pleasant.


16.50 Te'enim checkpoint. 
A long line of about 25 cars waiting to enter Israel. We pass the line and the soldiers who are checking (Reservists). They know us. They are pleasant and say that they are opening the gate to Jubara immediately. We wait 10 minutes. We blink our lights but there is no reaction. Tammie goes to call them.

17.00 A soldier arrives and apologized for the delay.

We get to the Children's gate (735) and there we are stopped and asked to wait until  permission is received for us to pass.

17.15 At last permission is received and we pass through.

A-Ras.

A long line of cars, about half a kilometer from A-Ras to Tulkarm. A rare sight. To our question as to why there is such a long line the answer is, "because we are very careful." The soldiers are new and do not know the regulations. They work by the book. They want to do things correctly. We phone the DCO in  Tulkarm to complain about "Chavah Shmone"  (the army's name for the checkpoint). While we are speaking - miracle of miracles - the line begins to move swiftly and the procession goes through without being checked and within a few minutes the line disappears.

While speaking to the DCO we ask them to see that the section of the road which is divided in two be repaired. The problem appeared when another partition, a cement block and a booth, were added. The road is very narrow and cars must get off the road to pass by. On this side there are holes which endanger the cars.  

We have already complained about this a number of times and asked the soldiers to pass the message on to their commanders.  But it seems that so far this has not been important enough for them to do so. (Two weeks ago a soldier said to us that the holes were there on purpose to force cars to travel slowly).  A DCO representative suggested that we write a letter to Grisha, the commander of the DCO. (Maybe he will do something before there is a tragedy).

17.30 We pass through the Children's gate again. From there we see about 30 cars waiting to enter Israel. In spite of the long line the soldier came to open the gate for us.