Habla Checkpoint (1393)
The checkpoint’s open hours have been shortened – “Not many people cross so it doesn’t have to stay open for an hour” – the soldier explained.
The new hours: 13:15-14:00
The soldiers arrived on time and conducted careful inspections. Most crossed in vehicles; only a few people returning home on foot. The soldiers refused entry to a young man from Bidiya because it wasn’t clear to them how he’d gone through earlier in the other direction. There was no documentation. He waited in the shed and said he’d gone to visit Akko and got a ride to the plant nurseries… Eventually, he was allowed entry “to Palestine” where his home is located – that was clear from his ID card
Immediately after they closed the gates, at exactly 14:03, a young man arrived whom the soldiers sent away. We drove him to Eliyahu gate. On the way, he told us he works at the plant nurseries. But apparently people don’t know the opening hours have been cut.
A conversation with a soldier who spoke to us.
We: Why can’t Palestinians cross to work or return home at any hour they choose? The fence isn’t on the Green Line, but a kilometer or more into occupied territory. If it were on the Green Line they’d be able to get to work and return home.
The soldier: But that’s good for them; in this way, the plant nurseries are accessible to Israelis. Were the fence on the Green Line they wouldn’t be able to come.
We explained that Israelis are free to enter the entire West Bank, and they’d be able to reach the plant nurseries whenever they wished, whereas the Palestinians would then have free access to their groves and plantings. He hadn’t thought of that, and that was the end of the conversation. He went back to his job inspecting people and documents on their way to the plant nurseries.