'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Wed 25.2.09, Afternoon

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Tammi C, Daliya G Translator: Louise L

16.40 Anabta – At
the entrance there is a line of about 12 cars. The traffic moves on
without delay both at the entrance and the exit. On the right side of
the road leading to the roadblock (we are facing the roadblock) there
are holes in the ground where olive trees have been uprooted. We are
told that the trees have been transferred to an alternative spot. The
soldiers won’t tell us where they have been transferred to. They seem
not to want to talk with us. For the first time we see a representative
from the DCO (District Coordination Office) at this roadblock. We leave
and on our way out we take pictures of the holes “speaking for themselves”.

16.50 Te’enim roadblock
– Jubara –
We overtake a long line, reach the gate where the
inspections are taking place and ask to be let through to Jubara. This
time they open the gate at once.

16.55 Gate 735 – When
we approach the soldiers (new soldiers from the Kefir Battalion), they
are alarmed. They don’t know who we are and where we come from. The
moment they realize that we are kosher Israeli women they calm down.
They let us through looking bewildered and as if they don’t really
know what to do with us.

A-Ras – The roadblock
is quite empty. Every once in a while a car passes through. At times
a soldier glances into the car, at times he doesn’t check at all.
At the roadblock, on the way to A-Ras, there are still holes on both
sides of the building dividing the road in two. In spite of our repeated
requests to repair the road nothing has been done. The holes on the
lane at the entrance are more dangerous. Therefore, all the cars are
directed to the lane where the holes are not as dangerous (certainly
the right solution under the circumstances). Passing through on the
same lane in both directions delays the traffic, but since there are
so few cars the delay is almost zero.

17.00 – We leave A-Ras and
return to Gate 735 where we meet two illegals. The soldiers don’t
let them through. They both (Palestinians) see their houses right in
front of them, but they are ordered to return to Israel… Tammi decides
to turn to the DCO, and luckily the coordinator arrives from the direction
of A-Ras, so she can explain the problem to him. He turns to the soldiers
and explains the special circumstances of Jubara in siege. They are
new and have no idea of where they are and why. He also explains something
we didn’t know: Gate 735 is open from 7.00 a.m. until 5.00 p.m. to
farmers and workers. After this detailed lecture it appears that the
soldiers need the instructions of their commander to release the illegals.
The DCO representative cannot help. We all leave, but not before Tammi
has left her phone number to the Palestinians: if they have not been
released within fifteen minutes, they can call her.

On our way home Tammi calls
Grisha the chairman of the DCO in Tulkarem. She tells him what has happened
and he promises to help.

17.30 – At the Jubara gate
they let us through at once. We see that at the entrance to Israel at
the Te’enim checkpoint there is a line of about 30 cars. The passage
through is extremely slow.

Before we reach home we are
informed that the illegals have been released, supposedly thanks to
Grishas intervention.