Beit Amin Checkpoint (1447), Habla Checkpoint (1393)
Beit Amin, Habla Checkpoints
· The soldiers are convinced that the security necessity to guard the State of Israel, determined the delineation of the fence between the people and their plots of land, and this is not surprising. Nobody revealed to them what the real considerations are. The absurd situation is completely understandable for them. Only a few are capable of thinking for themselves.
· It is surprising to find out that in spite of the harassment, the need to pass through the checkpoints in order to reach their land, the waste of time and the hardships in trying to make a living as a result of the checkpoints, one can still hear among the Palestinians optimistic voices and a deep craving for peace and a normal life alongside Israel.
Beit Amin (Abu Salman) CP 1449
16:35 – the IDF jeep arrives and at the moment only one lad on his bicycle is waiting. He tells us that his plot of land is just next to his house but now, because of the fence, in order to reach it he has to take a roundabout way of 5 kms. Moreover, he is forbidden to enter with his electrical bicycle, and was obliged to cancel the electrical motor. A few days ago he arrived with a delay of one minute. The soldiers were still here but they shot the gate in his face and told him: go to Habla (five more kms).
In the meantime more workers arrive and wait in the shade of the concrete blocks. A car lets the farmers get out and then returns and brings more, and then more again.
16:45 The military policemen get out of the jeep and open the gate exactly on time. The farmers stand in line at the appropriate distance, say the number of their identity card and enter.
The military policeman asks us to get into the car. When we ask why he says that we disturb them (although we stood at a distance from the shed and did not utter a word?) When I told him: our presence disturbs you. He admitted that this was so. We naturally did not enter the car. In between one checking and the other a dialogue developed between us, in which he told us: "Don't you know who I am? - I am a settler". When we said that there was no reason to put up fences and checkpoints between people and their plots of lands, we immediately got a reaction from his friends too, that we had no idea what had happened here and how important it was to be here. Our argument that it would have been possible to prevent their presence if the fence would have been put up to the west of their plots, fell on deaf ears. It is very clear to them that the fence must be exactly where it is. It should however be pointed out that in spite of this their behavior towards the farmers was correct (as opposed to that of another group a few weeks ago). In the end we told them that it wasn't their fault that the fence was here, and that we would see that at Habla.
Habla CP 1393
17:25 – The soldiers haven't arrived yet. Workers are waiting in the shade of the trees. In a conversation with us they express a very modest dream. If the gate would be opened for two hours between 16:00 to 18:00, life would be better. In the shade of the shed sat a young man, who talked Hebrew. He studied in a course at Kalkilya. An older man entered the conversation and state that it was good to learn languages. He recommends to everybody to learn Hebrew as this is a way to understand one's fellowmen. Another person who arrives asks us in English whether we believe that one day they would be free.
17:30 – The military policemen open the CP and let, from the Habla side, pedestrians and vehicles enter. Mainly the guards of the plant nurseries.
17:35 – The entrance CP from Israel to Habla is opened – the fist group of five passes. After them the donkey owners, Alte Zachen, a truck loaded with hay, a lot of plants pass in both directions. And pedestrians. The traffic is smaller than it usually is. Perhaps owin to the holidays there are employers who don't work. Thank God, without the violent and humiliating language which we were witness to in the last weeks.
At 18:00 sharp the CP is closed.