'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Qalqiliya, Shave Shomron, Mon 9.2.09, Morning

Observers: 
Frances T., Osnat R.
Feb-9-2009
|
Morning


 

06.45
Qalqilya is quiet.  We see 2 soldiers checking entering vehicles and 2
those exiting.  One of the soldiers appears to be reading a book.
There are few checks, mainly of license plates of Israeli cars
entering.  We leave at 07.00.

 

08.35
Shavei Shomron.  We drive past to make sure that the road is open.
There is a military presence in the middle of the road and a parked
Palestinian police car.  The soldiers appear to be talking to the
Palestinian police but the car drives off .  The traffic is flowing
freely with some checks.

 

09.10
Anabta.  There is a line of cars from the direction of Tul Qarm but no
checks.  The soldiers here are unfriendly and do not acknowledge us. 
Nothing significant to report.

 

09.30
Te'enim crossing.  As usual, we request the soldiers to open the gate to
let us through to Ar Ras.  The reply is that “they are checking”.  We
wait 5 minutes and no sign of any one coming to open.  I walk over to
the crossing from the gate and am quizzed about Machsom Watch.  One of
the soldiers gives me skeptical comments about the organization and the
rest ignore me.  When I repeat my request for someone to kindly open
the gate, I am told that they still haven’t received permission.  I
again request that they contact their commander and am told to wait as
“they are eating”.  We wait 15 minutes for someone to finally come with
the key.

 

At
Ar Ras there is a long line of cars coming from both directions.  It
appears that the soldiers are taking a break  and only 2 are on duty.
They are checking all vehicles and causing long delays to the traffic.
Their attitude to us is antagonistic.  We contact the humanitarian
centre in an attempt to have someone intervene but no real progress is
made,  It appears that this is a new unit who are going “by the book”
and they ignore any efforts by us to have the line of cars dealt with
more quickly.

 

We
leave in the direction of Qalqilya not wishing to spend another 15
minutes waiting for someone to open the gate for us.  We pass by
Qalqilya on the way as we hear that traffic there is heavy, however
things have improved by the time we get  there and lines seem to have
cleared.