'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Qalqiliya, Mon 19.1.09, Afternoon
Traffic in both directions is heavy, but moving.
We watched four cars going in the direction of Tulkarem. We didn’t go in.
We were met with a line of dozens of cars when we approached the checkpoint. We also saw an unending line of cars coming from the direction of Tulkarem.
The reservists run from one side to the other and confer, but no cars are checked from either the east or in the direction of Tulkarem. They came up to us and politely asked us not to disturb.
We assumed that the reason why traffic was stopped was the soldiers’ lack of experience.
A jeep belonging to the Security Service arrives with a handcuffed youth. A conversation took place between the youth standing outside and the person sitting in the car. After five minutes the jeep left without the youth. We were unable to clarify any details.
The cars going out are checked very slowly. The cars entering are not moving. The soldiers are running about. Pedestrians left their cars and busses and walked to the checkpoint. Certificates were presented at the entrance. There were no delays.
15:30: We telephoned the center and were passed on to the Coordination Office. We were told that if the backup did not break up in a short time there was a reason.
15:33: All the cars coming from the east entered without being checked. The “reason” was eliminated.
Did I already mention that the soldiers were pleasant?