Habla Checkpoint (1393)

Observers: 
Annelien Kisch, Hannah Aviram; Translator: Charles K.
Oct-4-2018
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Morning

07:00, but the checkpoint hasn’t opened yet.  A manned military vehicle already stood on the road from the plant nurseries to the checkpoint, near the closed gate.  The vehicle will still remain there after the checkpoint closes and one of the soldiers stands armed outside the vehicle and watches those coming from Habla.

Palestinians wait beyond the fences and closed gatesinfo-icon to start their workday.

It turns out the road between the fences separating Habla from the plant nurseries and the fields belonging to residents of Habla and Qalqiliya has turned into a bike path for Israelis decked out head to toe in the latest cycling gear - clothing and equipment.  Two cyclists rode back and forth as if it had been intended as a training route…

A cyclist on the security road next to Habla CP
A cyclist on the security road next to Habla CP
Photo: 
Annelien Kisch

07:06  The MP vehicle arrived and the soldiers who are supposed to open the checkpoint wait until the end of the song playing on the vehicle’s radio – ironic, because the song is “Tomorrow, when the army doffs its uniforms…none of that’s a dream…”  (True, the song doesn’t contain the word “peace,” much less mention the end of the occupation…).

07:11  They open the gate.  The soldier says that 07:10 is the scheduled time (Because it’s the olive harvest season there are more gatesinfo-icon to open.  This is already their third this morning.  It’s scheduled to close at 08:10).

07:15  The teachers’ bus arrives.  One of the passengers holds all the documents and goes to the inspection booth.  The bus will drive off at 07:20.

07:17  The first people come through inspection and walk toward the plant nurseries and to the fields.

As has already been reported in the past, merchandise for the plant nurseries is not allowed to leave via Habla.  We saw a few grocery items in some vehicles. 

07:48  The pupils’ bus enters Habla.

08:03  The last people being inspected come out, a soldier sweeps the ground between the gates and the checkpoint closes.