'Anabta, Qalqiliya, Thu 23.4.09, Morning

Shoshanna Z., Nina S.

Translator: Louise L. 7:15  AnabtaThere is no line and the passage through the checkpoint is quick. When we approach the roadblock the soldiers bring out a sign with the words, “Thank you Machsomwatch for helping the terrorists”. They put it on their guard booth and, shouting, they order us to leave. We explain to them that we are allowed to stand there and they have no right to make us leave. They threaten to call the police and almost beg us to wait for them to come. Quietly, we keep on speaking with them and they calm down a little.

In the meantime the passengers on a bus from Tulkarem are ordered out. Their papers are being checked, and after a few minutes they are let through. From time to time a short line is formed. There are no delays.

Meanwhile we are having a discussion with three soldiers (not on our initiative) who complain that we are interfering with their work and wasting their time. As a result a long line is being formed at the entrance. The soldiers go back to checking every car thoroughly. We decide to move back not to cause any more delays, and indeed, when we get to our car, where they cannot see us, the line immediately moves forwards until there are no cars left.

9:00  Qalqiliya
The passage is open and there are no lines. Here too the soldiers request that we move back behind the entrance sign to Palestinian territory. It seems meaningless to start arguing, but when we move away we hear a soldier shouting at the cars at the exit, so we return to the checkpoint. It appears that, when the soldier was speaking to us (on his initiative), the guard booth had been empty, so the Palestinians assumed they could drive through. After having shouted at them he sends three cars to the end of the line in order to educate the drivers. When the first of these cars drives up to the checkpoint, the soldier lectures the driver and performs a thorough check. It takes eight minutes and the line is getting longer, but who cares.

After this incident everybody is let through without further delay.