'Isla, 'Izbet alTabib, Falamiya North Checkpoint (914), Falamiya South Checkpoint (935), Jayyus, Khirbet 'Isla Checkpoint) 1231
Falamiya North, Falamiya South, Jayyus South, Khirbet Issla.
04:55 We left from Ra'anana to road 55. The weather was cool, a heavy fog covered the area and Annelien drove cautiously. There was nobody on the roads of Azzun and Jayyus, not even the army. We arrived at the village of Jimal and from there the roads led to
Falamiya North: The new road isn't paved but wide and covered with coarse sand and gravel. We arrived at the gate at 05:35, there were few people and just one tractor. We had acquaintance there from our previous shifts. The soldiers arrived at 05.55 but stood around listlessly and waited. In the meantime the Palestinians told us that from time to time a soldier named Benjamin arrives at this gate, and abuses them, humiliates them, closes the gate before everybody has passed. This morning he hadn't arrived. We promised to find out who this Benjamin was.
It was not 06:00 and the soldiers still tarried. The queue filled gradually up and more and more carts hitched to tractors arrived. We wondered at the restraint of the farmers who stood quietly and didn't show anger. This is the price of survival under occupation conditions – a person becomes compliant to every caprice of the occupier, solely in order to survive. A military policeman who was known to us from the former shift presumed a sovereign posture and enabled just five persons each time to march in his direction. On the other side of the rear gate again Palestinians stand to present their ID card. Probably out of fear of the knifing they are obliged to stand from afar and hand over their ID card, and they are forbidden to approach the soldier who checks the cards.
Two young men arrived and they were not allowed to pass through the gate as their authorization was for the "Zofim" CP only.
The military policeman demanded that Anneline stop photographing. When he had his back turned to us Anneline continued to take photos.
06:40 The gate was closed after the last of the Palestinian men and women had passed.
Falamiya South: We drove quickly on the road connecting Falamiya North with Falamiya South.
We arrived together with the soldiers - the same military policemen we had met before. Here less farmers and less tractors pass. All of them are from Jaiyus. They complained that the distance from the village is great and said they couldn't understand why the CP which is near the village wasn't opened. Well, why??? There were already know faces and waving of hands as greeting, as among acquaintances.
Jayyus South: We drove quickly through the fields and mounted to Jaiyus and from there to the taxi station where the road to the gate passes.
We arrived exacatly at the time the gate was supposed to be opened but couldn't see a sign of soldiers nor of farmers. It was not clear whether they had already passed, or perhaps there were not farmers today? This is a gate by which farmers hardly pass.
Khirbet Issla: We drove to Hirbet Issla by way of Isbat Tabib, and arrived together with the same soldiers which we knew from the beginning of the morning. Just one Palestinian person passes by the gate. The flock of sheep and the shepherd whom we had seen two weeks ago also arrived exactly at the same time but didn't pass by the gate. When the soldiers were about to closed the gate the military policeman approached us and asked us not to take photos as the entire area was a military zone. "You say that there is occupation here, but the truth is that this entire area is military zone as the army governs here, therefore it is forbidden to take photographs. If you will take photos I could detain you for three hours, until the police arrives to arrest you" he said and explained that we were standing while he was "standing in a tactical posture" and this is forbidden to photograph. We asked "please tell us what a tactical posture is?" and he demonstrates a posture with straddled legs with drawn weapon "this is a tactical posture, and this it is forbidden to photograph". Why? Is this a military secret? "yes, you are forbidden" and he was so sure of the rightness of his way that he didn't notice the contradiction of his words about the occupation and the military rule at the checkpoints.
When we left in the direction of Izbat Tabib we contacted Mussa Tabib and Anneline bought olive oil from him. We entered the beautiful new house he has built, where everything is spick and span and spacious. I remembered how the house had looked when he was building it and I was happy that in all this chaos people succeed in building a beautiful house and a warm and agreeable family next for themselves. We were offered tasty cakes which his wife (Janna) had baked. He is now saving money to by another hearing aid for the second ear, for his deaf daughter. We received an invitation from him to participate at a demonstration which is going to take place on Friday afternoon.