'Anabta, 'Azzun, Ar-Ras, Eliyahu Crossing, Eyal, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Te'enim Crossing, Thu 2.4.09, Afternoon
Hagar L., Milett S., Irine T., Orna B. (reporter)
Translator: Orna B.
2:30 Elijah Passage
Concrete road block. One has to go through a serpentine path. No inspections. A queue of cars in the opposite direction. The main entrance to Azzun is blocked.
A long queue of vehicles in the direction of Tulkarm, all the way to the junction of Route 57 with Route 557. The traffic flows in the opposite direction. Randomal stopping of drivers. A short conversation with the soldier and only rarely do they check any documents. All Israeli cars are stopped and only a few Palestinian cars are stopped. On average it takes a vehicle about 10-15 minutes to go through the checkpoint. Hagar talks to the commander. According to him the delays are caused by Israeli cars trying to go through this checkpoint. In the direction of the exit from Tulkarm the passage is slow but uniterrupted.
On our way on Route 557 we do not see a checkpoint on Route 547 from Tulkrm bearing south.
4:10 Figs Checkpoint
4:10 Figs Checkpoint
4:17 The soldiers say they will open the gate to Jubara for us when "the mess is over". We wait in front of the locked gate for a few moments.
4:21 A silent soldier arrives with the key and opens the gate. But when we reach Gate 753 despite pleading with the soldiers, they do not let us through. So our plan to go to Azzun on Route 547 is scrapped. A detained person whose permit had expired was sitting on one side of the road. As soon as we arrive they let him through. But not us. We go back to the locked gate and after hooting and waiting several moments the same silent soldier arrives with the key.
5:20 Eyal Passage
Two posts are open at the exit towards Qalqiliya. A queue of about 25 people. They go through fairly quickly.
At the entrance area Hagar is trying to explain to the rest of us what happens here in the mornings. We are standing on the line of the concrete wall. A soldier shouts at us to go away from there because it is a military zone. Hagar argues with him and continues to eplain to us with great difficulty while the soldier is shouting. Once the explanations are over we "remove" ourselves from the area.
Hagar finds a resident of Nablus and exchanges telephone numbers with him, and asks him to report to her if the Barrels Checkpoint opens at 04:00 am. (On Sunday he reported that indeed the checkpoint opened at 04:00 am). we go back to the territories via Tzoofim Gate.
5:43 Qalqiliya checkpoint
Traffic is flowing - no queues.
5:55 Havla Gate
A 14 years old boy without a permit nor a birth certificate is refused passage at the gate. Hagar tries to convince the soldiers to let him through, without success. The boy has had enough, announces that he is leaving and disappears. The soldiers hurry to close the gate ( it's 3 minutes past 6:00 pm). At the las second a bike rider manages to go through the gate. The commander's jeep passes on the security road, the soldiers run to him and complain that they "are late and it is impossible to close the gate on time". (We know that they have to be at 6:00 pm at the nearest agricultural gate which opens between 6:00 -6:30 pm). On the way from the gate to Route 55, workers returning from work are waiting for their friends from Qalqiliya or for from the villages near Alphei Menashe with permits to take their vehicles through this area, to drive them to Elijah passage, where they can go through.
We are on our way home.