'Anabta, Qalqiliya, Sun 8.2.09, Afternoon

Alix W., Ruthie Weiss Z., Susan L. (reporting); Guest: Markus R.


There's a veil of softness in the air today as well as on the hillsides, covered in pink and white almond blossom below which pink and white, as well as yellow and bright red flowers can be discovered. But the softness is merely a ruse, a hoax to cover the capricious and quirky nature of this cruel Occupation.

12:25 Gate 1393/Habla

A Hummer with a scraper attached drags its way around the tracking area of the gate that prevents passage for farmers from their homes to their orchards, fields and livelihood. It's after 12:15, the gate is closed, until it opens again several hours later.

12:35 Qalqiliya

A truckload of sheep (a double decker), a truck with a horse and a mule, as well as numerous cars, one of which bears the welcome and unlikely "Hebron Technology" advertising painted all over it. Up above, well in our sightlines, the two diggers continue their illegal settlement/colonization atop the pristine white hillside near Zufin.

As for the checkpoint, of the two soldiers, one is seated, taking his lunch break, the other bothers us with the usual tales of where we may or may not stand. In the empty field alongside the checkpoint four or five cars, some with trunks open or bonnets lifted, one police truck, one police jeep and a large army vehicle. Stolen suspects?

Along the route to Jit and Beit Iba, numerous election posters, mainly for one of the most nationalistic parties, "National Union" as well as numerous vandalized signposts: every time Nablus appears in English or Arabic, the letters have been painted over or gouged out.

15:00 Anabta

The line of vehicles continues beyond the junction with the apartheid road. But by the time we get to the checkpoint proper, we note that things move, and that not one vehicle is checked. The usual coffee man tells us how long it's been like this, as do some of the usual taxi drivers. Be that as it may, the line soon gets shorter, as does the line from Tulkarm, which, for once, is shorter than the line to Tulkarm!

15:10 -- the line, according to the soldiers, is now down to "normal," but there's only so much normalcy that the Occupation can stand, for soon after, the soldiers again begin to stop cars and question truck drivers.

Just then, a group of private Israeli cars (yellow license plates) pesters its noisy way past the long line of vehicles waiting patiently in line. With much ado, the cars are parked on either side of the checkpoint, and a group of six officers, from different brigades/units begins to wander around the center of the checkpoint. It looks as if this is an outing of four officers with two "guides." The latter two wave their arms and point to the left, point to the right, to the hills which are not filled with the sound of music but with the sound of Occupation.