Habla Checkpoint (1393)

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Annelien K., Chana P. (reporting) Translator: Charles K.

At 07:00, when it’s scheduled to open, the gate is locked.  It opens 15 minutes late; the school bus waited.  A laborer with a bicycle stands beside us, already tired in the morning.  He tells us he works two shifts; at night he’s a guard at the plant nurseries and now he’s waiting for the gate to open.  He’s on his way to Qalqilya where he works during the day.  Two shifts a day, and he hardly sees his family.

Here’s the route:  a laborer with a bicycle joins the exit line from Habla, goes through inspection, walks to the female soldier in the booth, leaves his ID card with her, enters to get his bicycle, returns to the female soldier to collect his ID card and finally leaves for work.

Here’s something that’s been going on for two weeks.  A man tells us he got a different car two weeks ago.  He notified the Palestinian DCL, which notified the Israeli DCL, but they haven’t updated his license number and each time he wants to leave he’s stopped because the DCL hasn’t done the updating.  Today the DCL didn’t answer and he wasn’t allowed to leave.  The driver waits and the passengers who arrived with him proceed on foot.  Half an hour later the “liaison” (between the plant nurseries and the army) arrives and allowed him to leave.

08:10, the time the gate closes.  About 40 people were still inside who hadn’t been inspected.  So with A.’s help they work faster and let some of the people through with the aid of the soldiers stationed at the entrance.

At the last minute, after the official closing time, someone arrives who wants to cross to Habla.  They admitted him.