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אורנית, מהצד הזה של הגדר

Beit Iba, Jit, Wed 3.10.07, Morning

Netta A. Rina Z. (reporting)

Natanya translating.

Summary: No checkpoint at the crossroads of Jit.

Two rolling checkpoints at the crossroads of road 60 with road 557 and at the entrance to Beit Lid against those coming to Chomesh.

Checkpoint of Beit Iba is horribly routine. Horit P., a veteran of Machsomwatch is amazed at the efficient and skillful way the checkpoint is handled. This is the great success of the occupation forces. Everything proceeds like a well oiled machine with everyone knowing exactly what to do and there is no need for the movement of a finger or a look for the conquered to act the rituals they are used to.

Checkpoint Jit: no soldiers.

Beit Iba:  6.55 – 8.30 

The car lane.  There are car lanes though not yet paved,. There is one lane at the entrance which leads directly to Kuchin as if this were a normal country but this lane is blocked ….who was the genius who organized this?

As in the last weeks few cars entering or exiting Nablus because of the problem of obtaining permits from the DCO  and to there are never more than 3-4 cars in any direction and this is in spite of the fact that the checking is slow and inefficient. 4 soldiers including 2 sergeants and a military policeman and all four check one car, taking advice from one another. Each driver gives his id and also his passengers, these are checked by phone, everything is checked, this includes ambulances which probably pass a few times each day and also a doctor who works in Qalqiliya and also passes each day.

Many buses today and the young people alight and go through the pedestrian lane and then wait for the bus on the others side and this takes 10 minutes. A woman with a babe in arms and a little girl of about 3 is forced to alight with her baggage and to go through the pedestrian lane. There was a sergeant who was more humane and sent her through without checking her and she goes to wait for the bus on the other side.

A large bus with large containers containing liquids is not allowed to pass to Nablus. The truck is Israeli and the driver says that the liquid is dangerous and therefore cannot go through the back to back at Awarta and he has a permit for Beit Iba. He says this is not in writing but the captain at the checkpoint knows about this and lets him pass. The sergeants will not let him pass or speak to us and tell him to turn around and so we conducted the conversation by phone. We asked the commander to try to check the matter with his superiors.  He refused. The driver says the company will arrange the matter with the DCO. A representative of the DCO arrives 15 minutes later at 7.30  and this was too late for him. We saw the dog tgrainer arrive and only one car being checked.

At the pedestrian lane the sergeant checks efficiently and most of those entering are students. Two soldiers check the young men, one the women and older men and one checks by phone anyone whose name comes up on the list. Even though now and again a crowd of people arrive, probably having alighted from a bus and everyone is in the checking area which is crowded with building materials which have not been in use for months they go through quickly and disappear. In humanitarian cases such a woman leading a blind person he sends them through without checking.

A woman of about 50 arrives with a Jordanian passport but no visa or id and says she is on her way to the hospital in Nablus. She is not allowed to pass but we bring in the DCO representative and he says this time and only this time he will let her through,.

Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 3.10.07, Morning

Yoske M., Rachel M., Derora P. (reporting), translation Jonathan M

Rachel Crossing, Al-Nashash, Nebi-Yunis, Etzyon DCL


06:30 am Rachel Crossing 

The curfew is complete as a result of a Jewish holiday. Most of the people passing are church or hospital employees or people with health problems. Only one checking booth is open and everything seems to be running smoothly. We met one woman and this is her story:

She is having very difficult financial problems and has turned to the official welfare organizations in Bethlehem in order to receive financial aid. The clerk in the office, on realizing that the woman was Christian, insulted her and turned her away, telling her that they did not help “pig eaters.” The woman turned to the manger, but was turned away by her too. She then turned to a Christian minister who told her that she was indeed on the list of welfare recipients and he did not know why she was rejected. 

07:30 am Al-Nashash 

Very little car traffic. We are unemployed. 

07:50 am Nebi-Yunis

We were waiting for a Palestinian who called Yoske the evening before and asked for help. He did not show up, and did not leave a phone number to contact him. 

09:10 am Etzyon DCL

Everything is locked. Behind the building we saw a number of elderly people who wanted to get an entry permit in order to visit El-Aktza the coming Friday. When we called the DCL we were told that an officer would soon come out to take care of their request.

Daily reports

Every morning and afternoon, shifts of women go out to some 30 checkpoints within the West Bank and on the seam-line between Israel and Palestine, to monitor and document IDF and Border Police conduct, and safeguard Palestinian human rights.

MachsomWatch women also visit the Civil Administration "District Coordination Offices" (DCOs) where Palestinians need to apply for documents and permits,   checkpoints along the separation barrier (where high tech terminals have recently begun to operate under civilian management), and the military courts where Palestinian detainees are brought to trial.


Hamra, Tayasir, Tue 2.10.07, Afternoon

Shula B. and Daphna B. (reporting)

12:30 Hamra
When we arrived, there was the usual ritual - at a distance of about 100 meters, we heard the guard on the watch tower warn his peers about us. The CP commander begins to walk toward us and we meet him at about 40 meters from the CP. He banishes us as expected to the concrete huts. About 80 meters from there. Last week his brigade commander agreed that we could stand exactly there, near the water tank, but he refuses to ask the brigade commander again.
The soldiers leave the CP despite the fact that there are many cars waiting; they go to have a meal. After 5 minutes the commander announces that the CP will remain closed because of us. (We are the enemy and the IDF will do everything in order to get us away from the CP. It is worthy of mention that we did not initiate any conversation with the soldiers and we did not ask anything of them.)

There is a queue of 9 cars going from west to east and on the other side there are 3 cars and 2 buses full of laborers who are returning from their day's work in the fields of settlements.

It is very hot and the Palestinians are fasting.

Out of consideration for those poor people, we go back to the place that the soldier insisted on. Before that I approached to see if there is anybody in the internment pen and went back immediately. Then the CP was opened to traffic.

It turns out that the soldiers did not waste time during their pause for food. At 13:10 a police car arrives; two policemen (and a soldier accompanying them) talk to the soldiers. 13:40 - after some time, one of the policemen approaches us and explains to us that we are detained because we are "interfering with a public official". I asked him if, when he arrived, or at any time at all, he saw me interfere, and he said, "no, but maybe you interfered earlier..."
We asked to file a counter-complaint on interference with volunteers from an organization for human rights, who want to carry out their tasks. While they were taking my testimony, there was news of a fatal auto accident and the policemen were required to get to the location of the accident. They did not rush especially - not before they finished with our case which was undoubtedly the most difficult and the most urgent. Since we are more considerate than they, Shula decided not to continue testifying so that the forces could be freed to save lives.

In the meantime, the queue on both sides of the CP is shorter, but the rhythm is very slow.

14:00 We leave. 7 cars coming from the west are waiting.

On the way to Tayasir c/p we visited the new-old residence of the Hadida family, who reported to us that despite the fact that they have left what the army defined as a "military area", their two water tanks were not returned to them. Despair is tangible everywhere. Tomorrow they can take away the third and last tank. What will happen then? Now they are living in a place that has an abolition decree of the administration in charge of planning "for tents and sheep pens" (quotation from the decree).

15:25 Tayassir
When we arrived there was only one truck waiting on the eastern side. The soldiers are settled comfortably in the air-conditioned hut and the truck waits in the heat for about 10 minutes, until they notice us and let the truck and another two cars through.
When we left and returned to the car, the soldiers went back to the hut and paid no attention to a truck and a taxi that were waiting. We returned and got out of our car and the soldiers came out and let them through.

16:00 We left.

Near Hamam el Maliech, a Palestinian acquaintance stopped us and told us the following story. An old Bedouin, about 75 years old was detained yesterday at 15:00 on the hills where he shepherded his sheep, not far from the Tyassir CP. He was taken to the CP and detained there for two hours, until the police arrived and took him away. After that he disappeared. When his family phoned the DCO they were told that he is in custody in the Maaleh Efraim police station.
I phoned the DCO and after some questioning, we were told that he is in custody in the Ariel police station, because of "stealing a cartidge of bullets" - meaning empty cartridges that were on the ground!!!
I phoned the Ariel police station and the detention officer notified me that the man is really in custody because he stole cartridges, spent the night in jail and was freed this morning at 8:00 a.m. I asked if they had asked him whether he knew the way home (about 150 kilometers from there) and if he had money for the trip (the man was taken from the field) and the answer was negative. An old man of 75, who had never been more than 20 or 30 kilometers from his camp, is walking around without money on the West Bank and he has no idea where he is!!!
I asked if he would send his grandfather away in that fashion, and the policeman had a pang of emarrassment, but claimed that it wasn't his fault, and they shouldn't have sent him (the Bedoui) to him, and it wasn't his job to take the old man by the hand and to bring him home! The family was frightened and I was reminded of how I would look for my grandfather when he got lost, and the terror, in the dark, of a man who is lost. After a difficult day of fasting, and with little strength and with no idea of where to go.
At 10:00 at night, the man reached his camp. He had been walking all day long, did not know where he was going, and slept at the roadside, until somebody brought him to the Jiftlik and from there, they brought him home. For this, not even a fast of a whole month can atone.

'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Tue 2.10.07, Morning

Ruti C., Tom S. (reporting)

9:51 Anabta


Around 15 cars at the exit from Tulkarm; no cars at the entrance.  Apartness is in effect for Jews; this has no effect on the Palestinians.



10:15 Ar-Ras checkpoint


The checkpoint is empty and quiet.  A single car arrives and is quickly let through.




Azzun, Qalqiliya, Tue 2.10.07, Morning

Ruti C, Tom S (reporting)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

6:45 Border Police checkpoint at the entrance to Qalqiliya

The checkpoint is almost empty.  A taxicab is detained by the side of the road for the purpose of a thorough collective inspection.  When this one departs, after being delayed for more than 15 minutes, a second cab is pulled over in its place.

Generally speaking, traffic is flowing, except for the cars that were randomly picked for the thorough inspection.


A young Border Policewoman comes over to find out what we're doing here and why, and to have a discussion about it.  She listens, doesn't attack, and the conversation is carried on openly and pleasantly.  At the final analysis, unfortunately, the present situation appears to her "logical" because "this is how I was raised."  We received no other reasons.


From that policewoman we found out about a female squad commander from the same army base, who slapped a kid that cursed her at the checkpoint, and was caught in the act by the camerainfo-icon of an international photographer.  The squad commander was grounded to the base as punishment, her promotion will be postponed, and she will not become an officer.  The soldier we were speaking with gave this story as an example of the negative effects of human rights organizations – in her opinion, no red line was crossed, and the punishment was unjust.


Azzun – no checkpoint at the entrance to Azun on road 55.  









Beit Furik, Huwwara, Tue 2.10.07, Afternoon

Shlomit (guest), Dina P., Raheli B. ( reporting)

Translation: Hanna K.

A detainee in the detention cell, because of "insolence" towards the soldiers, - that's to say he asked the soldiers to speed matters up and enable people to pass quicker – we called the Center, he was released 40 minutes later.
It is difficult to observe the humiliation that the Palestinians have to undergo during their checking at the CP, which is accelerated by the soldiers' behavior:
gum chewing, a relaxed posture, a constant winding of the identity disk around the index finger pointed at the passing people, orders given by a glance of a short movement of the hand, the instruction to take off the belt and to roll the shirt up, often also the trouser down.
The waiting time is over half an hour (we followed with our eyes the last person who joined the queue, until he reached us).
15:35-17:00 -The waiting time increases to 45 minutes.
Shouts that were heard from the crowded queue of waiting people caused the checking process and the passage to stop for long minutes.
According to the CP commander there are no concessions in honor of the Ramadan.

Beit Furik
15:10-15:30 -A very sparse traffic. One car from each direction and people passing without having to wait.
According to the CP commander there are concessions in honor of the Ramaddan: the inhabitants of Salaam, Dir-El-Hatab and Azmut are allowed to pass to Beit Furiq without permits or without the presence of family members. The CP is active until midnight.
On the other hand, when we tried to corroborate the information one of the soldiers answered that "there are no concessions, an information that was confirmed by a Palestinian woman who left the CP and didn't know about the existence of concessions.
Seems like an ingenious invention – there are concessions that the commanders know about but the Palestinians don't (why should they know) and even the soldiers who are actually performing the checking don't know.

Jubara (Kafriat), Tue 2.10.07, Afternoon

Amit Y., Zehava G. (reporting); Translation: Galia S.

Today is the day they went up to "Homesh" [Homesh is a settlement that has been evacuated according to a government decision and subject to repeated, unauthorized attempts to resettle it]. Many soldiers and policemen were standing at all the checkpoints, all the junctions and also along the roads. We were not stopped at all of them. However, we didn't get to the checkpoints we wanted to.

The border checkpoint at Jubara

13:00 – The policeman showed us the command of brigadier-general Noam Tavor, who had determined the area a military zone from 31.9.07 to 3.10.07, 24:00. We were forbidden to go on in any direction although we explained again and again that there was no chance we would want to get to Homesh.

On our way back toward Tayibe we saw a bush fire close to an olive grove. We called the police and, to our surprise, the fire brigade responded immediately and asked for the exact location of the fire. The Shave Shomron fire brigade contacted us too.

13:50 – We managed to pass "Eliyahu" checkpoint. West of the village Funduq, policemen stopped a Palestinian whose car was standing across the road. We had no idea whether he had tried to make a turn and was held up because of that, but on our way back we saw him sitting handcuffed beside the road.

All along the road many police cars were standing and going out we were not stopped.

Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Tue 2.10.07, Morning

Ruth E., Aviva W., Rama Y.(reporting)

05:40, Bethlehem CP. Total closureinfo-icon for the whole week of Succoth holiday. The CP is almost empty accordingly; only the happy few who hold the right permits can go to work.  <p>

Leaving the CP, we see a group of about seven women held in a shed, just a few meters away from the entrance to Bethlehem CP, guarded by border police. They were apprehended while trying to sneak into Jerusalem, probably to work. No one of them holds the necessary documents, not even IDs. A polite officer explains that they are awaiting the police; he won’t let us speak with them, though. About forty minutes later we came back – one woman had been released after being identified; the police have not yet arrived.<p>

08:00, Ezyon DCL. The DCL, we are told, is functioning as usual. There are about six people.

Etzion DCL, Mon 1.10.07, Morning



Road number 60, Beit Anun, Ezyon DCL


7:45-  Al Nashnash

At the entrance were 3 Hummers and four IDF jeeps. There were many soldiers.

Nashnash was empty- perhaps because of the holiday or maybe because the settlers were heading for the settlements. We entered Efrat looking for Itam hill; we had apparently passed it while passing by the entrance. The settlement is constantly growing. We went on to road number 60.  

8:30- Beit Anun 
The checkpoint that was opened about two weeks before, was now closed by large bricks. Only a small passage was left. There was a large flag on the roof the IDF observation post and some soldiers were there as well. They were looking at us with their binoculars. We met the owner of the house that is on the other side of the checkpoint and he told us this was the fifth time the soldiers occupied of his house. The last time the house was taken over he and his family were sent away from their home. This time  only the roof was occupied, he has no complaints, he said the soldiers behaved well. While we were speaking a Hummer and a jeep arrived at the checkpoint and the soldiers looked at us,  they suggested politely that we  take a walk in Wadi Kelt  (a well known Wadi that is popular for nature hikes) implying in a cynical manner that we leaveand really just to leave.

9:15- Nabi Unis

On the side of the road was a new row of bolders have been placed in order to prevent  drivers from parking on the side of the road. Two people came to us. At the exit from Sair was a Jeep and some soldiers. 

9;45- Ezyon DCL

Almost empty. One man asked us to help him get a medical permit which he probably didn't get on time because of the holiday. We tried to help him and are not sure we succeeded.