'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Eliyahu Crossing, Jubara (Kafriat), Thu 5.3.09, Afternoon
We reached the checkpoint location
by car, driving on the road from Azzun, and found the checkpoint was
gone and nothing was left of it. Locals told us that it was taken down
the day before, Wednesday afternoon. Our joy was short lived, since we found
out that preparations for a new checkpoint were completed, a kilometer
down the road, next to the landfill. The new checkpoint was not manned
when we arrived. It can be seen from highway 557 when you reach the
Gate 753 to Jubara 15:25
Four soldiers at the checkpoint
confirm that Ar-ras checkpoint was taken down on Wednesday around 15:00.
At the moment gate 753 is open 24 hours a day, however we understand
there are plans to close it and allow the villagers to cross through
gate 407, next to Abu-Hatem’s house, as it was in the past. We wonder
where the farmers of Ar-ras and the village of Zur will be able to cross
to get to their lands. Will they have to drive to gate 407?
Three detainees without permits:
two elderly women (their ID states they were born in Yaffa), and a young
man. They are all heading to Tulkarm, and say they have been waiting
for two hours. The soldiers say they ‘inherited’ them from the previous
shift and are waiting for authorization to release them. We call the
humanitarian center and Tulkarm DCO, and are promised the situation
taken care of. We exchanged phone numbers with the young man, but he
never called us back. when we called the DCO later on they told us the
three were released 15 minutes after we first called in.
The soldiers at Te'enim crossing
opened gate 407 for us to pass without delays.
At the entrance to Tulkarm
there was a long line of cars winding past the junction. When we arrive
the soldiers clear the traffic. There was no line exiting Tulkarm. We
Eliahu crossing 18:30
There are a lot of workers
returning from their day in Israel. They are not checked upon entering.