We arrived at the entrance to the village and the officer at the checkpoint explained we could enter by foot, not by car. We explained who we are and why we were there. He was concerned and asked us to stop on our way out to make sure we were alright. On our way out there was no checkpoint, no officer and no ‘security’. The punishment dealt the village was over, surely at everyone’s surprise – the Palestinians, the nice officer, and the woman-soldier at the entrance. This small experience taught us once again a lesson about the whole point of the entire checkpoint system throughout the West Bank, Jerusalem and the ‘seam-line zone’.
It’s a hot day. Few people are waiting here, several women, and all of us witness a lively traffic of army jeeps manned by soldiers who come, stop, eat, open the gate and enter, and then come back and explain demonstratively that they have nothing to do with opening the gates for the Palestinians. There must be a certain ‘division of labor’ for these are responsible for chasing illegals crossing the nearby field. We did not see any evidence for their success.
This agricultural checkpoint is opened late, but the soldiers are efficient and the few Palestinians there cross swiftly in both directions. All complain about the new directive that sends farmers with their wares away to the main checkpoint. And naturally this all happens two days before the Yom Kippur closure. Atonement for the Israeli military occupation, anyone?