| Page 697 | Machsomwatch
אורנית, מהצד הזה של הגדר

יום ד' 26.9.07, אחה"צ

Share:
Observers: 
Observers: Raya Y., Dalia G. Translation: Galia S.
Sep-26-2007
|
Afternoon


 

Overall: There is not much to report.

 

Jubara

 

14:30 – A line of 8 – 10 cars at the entrance to Israel. The traffic is streaming and the line gets shorter and disappears altogether.

 

Ar-Ras

 

There is scarcely any vehicles traffic. A truck loaded with scrap metal is not allowed to pass to the village of Jubara, although the vehicle does have a permit but the "merchandise" doesn't.

 

15:00 – We leave for Anabta.

 

Anabta

 

15:10 – Empty in all directions.

 

We leave for Beit Iba.

 

 

יום ד' 26.9.07, אחה"צ

Share:
Observers: 
Observers: Raya Y., Dalia G. Translation: Galia S.
Sep-26-2007
|
Afternoon


 

Overall: There is not much to report.

 

Jubara

 

14:30 – A line of 8 – 10 cars at the entrance to Israel. The traffic is streaming and the line gets shorter and disappears altogether.

 

Ar-Ras

 

There is scarcely any vehicles traffic. A truck loaded with scrap metal is not allowed to pass to the village of Jubara, although the vehicle does have a permit but the "merchandise" doesn't.

 

15:00 – We leave for Anabta.

 

Anabta

 

15:10 – Empty in all directions.

 

We leave for Beit Iba.

 

 

Tulkarem and Qalqiliya, Wed 26.9.07, Afternoon

Share:
Observers: 
Raya Y., Dalia G. (reporting)Translation: Galia S.
Sep-26-2007
|
Afternoon

Jubara, Ar-Ras, Anabta 

 

Overall: 

There is not much to report.

 

Jubara

14:30 – A line of 8 – 10 cars at the entrance to Israel. The traffic is streaming and the line gets shorter and disappears altogether.

 

Ar-Ras

There is scarcely any vehicles traffic. A truck loaded with scrap metal is not allowed to pass to the village of Jubara, although the vehicle does have a permit but the "merchandise" doesn't.

 

15:00 – We leave for Anabta.

 

Anabta

15:10 – Empty in all directions.

 

We leave for Beit Iba.

 

 

יום ג' 25.9.07, בוקר

Share:
Observers: 
Ruth E., Aviva W., Rama Y.(reporting)
Sep-25-2007
|
Morning


05:40: Bethlehem CP. Compared to previous weeks – not a bad morning. By the time we left, at 07:30, there were no lines on either side. A volunteer of the Ecumenical organization timed the whole process of passage -- 35 minutes. About a dozen men were detained, and their permits were held for further checking. Most of them were released within 20-40 minutes; one had his permit confiscated, and was told to go to the DCL to have a new one, another’s permit was allegedly faked, and yet another one was told he could not go through, no reasons given; the soldier at the checking post would not talk to us either. We called the IDF Humanitarian Center. An obliging soldier came up with the answer that the man was refused passage for “security” reasons. Have we not been there and made this call, the Palestinian wouldn’t know why he had been refused passage.<p>

08:15: Ezyon DCL. Just five people, all waiting for magnetic cards.

'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Mon 24.9.07, Afternoon

Share:
Observers: 
Ziyona S., Yona E., Elisheva E. (reporting)
Sep-24-2007
|
Afternoon

Ar-Ras 13:50 

Traffic is very heavy, compared with what we saw in former afternoon watches.  Cars enter Jubara with no delays.  Cars from the Tulkarm direction pass with almost no inspection.

When we reached the soldiers' post we found an elderly man sitting comfortably on a chair, at the bottom of the post, waiting to be permitted to enter Jubara.  According to what he said, his family is there and he wants to visit them on the holiday.  He lives in Ramin.  He has no permit and the soldiers hope that maybe we could help. The brigade didn't authorize this "breach of the law " and the at the DCO [District Coordination Office] they didn't understand why he didn't take care of getting a permit for himself, a permit that would have been granted without any problem.  Jubara, as is know, has the status of an Israeli place of residence, the entrance to which requires a permit – how could he have not thought of this?

All our efforts did not succeed, but this time we saw soldiers that really would have been happy to help (in the course of our attempts on the phone we spoke with Kamil in Bethlehem.  We congratulated him, hoping that his transfer was a promotion).

Anabta 15:00 

Traffic is flowing without delays.  It seems that the soldiers too are more comfortable if they don't have to be strict. 

A Palestinian truck carrying pesticides was not allowed to enter Tulkarm.  The DCO officer on site instructed the checkpoint commander to summon the blue [civil] police to handle the problem.

With complete lack of enthusiasm we drove on to Beit Iba.

 

 

 

Sun 23.9.07, Afternoon

Share:
Observers: 
Shlomit S. and yael S. (reporting), translation by Ruthie Belkin
Sep-23-2007
|
Afternoon

 Etzion DCL, Efrat, Bet Phagar, 23-9-07 PM


 

It was a late shift - we arrived at the DCL  building at 4:00 pm. There were two Palestinians who were waiting to enter; one was waiting for a magnetic card and the other was waiting for a permit.

There were two Palestinians inside the building. The soldier did not allow them to pass and I had to phone Lieutenant Tedsa in order to help them get in. Lieutenant Tedsa also made sure that five Palestinians who were waiting (some were there from 2 pm) for the GSS were taken care of.

One of the waiting Palestinians told us that his sister was murdered by settlers in Hebron five years ago (a retaliation for the murder of four settlers). He told us that the 25 rioters were photographed and their pictures even appeared in the newspapers, however his sister's killers were yet to be found. A letter from the IDF stated that the mystery has not been solved… I suggested that he contact 'Yesh Din' (a volunteer based organization in Israel defending Palestinian human rights - RB).


We next drove by the check points in the area. The south Efrat check point was un-manned, and in Bet Phagar there is no check point between road 60 to the entrance of the village.


A goat herd and a sheep herd were on their way home by the side of the road. A heavily laden donkey was on the way as well.


In Bet Omer the Iftar meal was due to start at a quarter to six.
 
 

יום א' 23.9.07, בוקר

Share:
Observers: 
Watchers: Edna L., and Esti T. (reporting)
Sep-23-2007
|
Morning

Translation:  Suzanne O.

Background:  during the whole week the IDF has been very active searching for wanted men.  The activity takes place in the refugee camp ‘El Ayin - Beit Alma' located west of Nablus.  According to reports in the media leaders of the Az-a-Din el Kassam battalions have been caught.


Yesterday - Saturday, tens of wanted men were arrested in Huwwara.


Marda

6:50 a.m. 

A jeep is parked at the side of the road and two soldiers with weapons at the ready stand near the entrance to the village.


Ariel Junction - there is an unusual number of police and army cars on both sides of the road.


Za'atra Junction (Tapuach)

7:10 a.m. 

There are eight cars from the west, from the direction of Huwwara the traffic flows.


7:20 a.m.

There are a lot of children, of all ages, on the main road of Huwwara on their way to school on this pleasant morning.


Beit Furiq

7:30 a.m. 

There are only a few cars in the car park.  At the roadblock there are a small number of people.  According to the soldiers they have no special orders today:  everyone crosses relatively easily; documents are barely inspected.  Cars cross relatively quickly; from time to time the soldier looks at the list in his hand and checks a bit more.


8:30 a.m.  We left the roadblock.  The traffic is still light.  The back to back position is open.  There are quite a few lorries from the direction of Nablus.


DCO Nablus - the DCO is not open yet.  There are eight people waiting.  Ra'ad is back and he is the head of the DCO again.


Huwwara roadblock

8:45 a.m. 

A man from Loven, the village near Za'atra Junction, tells us that on Thursday and Saturday it was very tough.  According to him huge numbers were at the roadblocks on those day, festival days.


In the cell:  a man of about 40, from the Alma refugee camp, has been there since 7:30 a.m.  He says he has no idea why he was arrested, told us that he has been working for 19 years in the industrial area of Barkan, that he has a permit and this is the first time he has been detained.  His documents and his telephone have been taken away to be inspected.  A soldier comes, instructs me to leave immediately, and says that I am not permitted under any circumstances to stand there.  I asked why the man was arrested.  The answer: "We need him!" 

There are very few people by the turnstile and they cross relatively quickly.  The usual picture: people cross the first check point, a soldier in the cubicle checks documents, then they go through the turnstile.  Owners of large bags, parcels etc., go out of the roadblock position, in the direction of the x-ray machine which is parked in the open near the roadblock.  They then return to the roadblock position, cross through the electronic gate, again they go through the turnstile and out to the car park to find a taxi to their destination.  Here we see the familiar, and embarrassing, scene of men adjusting their clothing after the string of inspections, tucking their shirts into their trousers, doing up their belts.  One after another they come out and do the same thing.  A female soldier and a dog from the dog-handling unit in the area are doing various exercises.  There is a fluent Arabic speaking soldier at the roadblock.


9:30 a.m. 

In the roadblock, at the exit position a woman stands by the cell, trying to communicate with the man inside who turns out to be her husband.  Someone at the roadblock told her that her husband has been arrested.  She came after she had sent all six of her children to their educational establishments.  She stands stubbornly; trying to find out why and for what reason her husband has been arrested.  With restrained assertiveness she wards off the attempts by the soldiers to get her to go home.  She is determined to stay until her husband is released.  The DCO officer arrives, talks, and asks questions.  He too tries to get her to go home.  After about half an hour she too goes in the cell for a physical inspection by a female soldier.  Her documents and telephone are taken for inspection.  For the moment she too waits and is unable to go home even if she decides to do so.  We try to find out how long all this will take and are told that it could take a very long time.  The reason:  they live in Beit Alma, El Ayin where the army activities took place.  We can only imagine what they have been through during the week.  Even the DCO officer blurted out:  "They have had a tough week", and in the same breath added proudly that during the operations the IDF was careful to behave exceptionally humanely, they supplied food, drink and first aid during all the days of the operation.  The officer's eyes could not even see what a hallucination it was and how schizophrenic and crazy the situation is.

At the same time I perceive an argument from a raised voice: "But I haven't done anything".  It is young man of about 30, tall and stocky, at the entrance to the inspection lane.  Because of our enforced distance and the difficulty in seeing and hearing what is going on across the labyrinth of the turnstiles, I only heard the words said in anger and with raised voices.  The young man is sent immediately to the cell and joins the man from Beit Alma.

After about half an hour he is released and on his way out he utters a curse and a promise that he will return and kill everyone here.  The DCO representative hears it, calls him and demands that he return to the cell.  The young man who was in shock tried to soften the judgement.  It didn't work and the officer ruled: "Not less than four hours!"


A young Palestinian girl dressed traditionally, the owner of a blue I.D. card, leaves Nablus and is interrogated at length by two soldiers, her document is checked again and again, when all her details had been taken down including telephone numbers of her relatives in Nablus and in Israel and are passed to the Shabak, she is released.  As she left we asked what it was all about and she told us she is married to an Israeli Arab and lives in Haifa.  Her parents live in Nablus.  She misses them and tries to visit them as often as possible.  At these times, during festivals, she misses them all the more.


Za'atra Junction (Tapuach)

10:40 a.m. 

There are no cars.


10:50 a.m.
The house opposite Marda  (according to the soldiers it is abandoned and now belongs to the Shimshon unit).

Four soldiers with weapons at the ready observe the village of Marda through binoculars.  We stopped, asked whom the house belongs to and what they are doing there.  They answered that stones are being thrown on the route.  Micky F., who phoned us up, gave us to understand that there had been a ‘grass widow' operation by the IDF in the village.


On the way back, at the end of the shift, on Road 5 it was hard not to think of what we had left behind.  About the twisted nature of this nightmarish situation; the settlements, the settlers who are on every hill but who are almost completely absent from any conversation, from any kind of report, written or photographed, either by others or by us.  The occurrences take place far away down below: at the roadblock; between the soldiers; the Palestinians; the police, the white line and us.  Far away over the secure gatesinfo-icon of the colonies, only the signposts to the right and the left directing people to the settlements spread around high up above all the Palestinian settlements denote the twistedness.  Here and there we see gestures at the roadblock, mainly before festivals, all kinds of gifts, baskets of gifts sent by the settlers.  And the yellow flags that the ‘blue and white' women leave at the roadblock.


Here I want to remind us of the ‘obvious'.  Road 5, a central road, crosses the country from west to east and leads us directly, without hold ups, far away from the green line.  Deep into the territories.  With no external hint or sign to show that we have crossed the border, that we have crossed from Israeli territory to Palestinian territory.  The general feeling is ‘it all belongs to us'.  There is no sign to show that we have crossed from Israeli sovereignty to army sovereignty.  From a place with relatively clear laws to a place with orders and laws which are changeable, are not written and are very, very nebulous.  No sign which declares: this is where the rule of the army begins.

We, of course, know.  However, what does the ordinary traveller understand or know of the end of this road?  What is a student of architecture at Ariel College, who wants to register, told?  He is told to take Road 5 and drive straight to Ariel.  He drives as he is instructed.  He does not wonder: is this ours or not.  He drives, arrives, a matter of 25 minutes maximum.  He will hardly even notice the mosques' minarets in the villages.  The scenery is familiar, red roofs, well tended gardens, flowering roundabouts surrounded by lawns, large industrial areas, lovely scenery.  Everything looks good.  The signposts for Ariel appear relatively early, Ramat HaSharon, Petach Tikva, Ariel, a routine journey.

I thought about it a lot when I thought of the man detained at Huwwara, who works in Barkan.  About the young woman who moved her address to Haifa but misses her family in Nablus.  About the woman who was trying to get her husband back home but was arrested herself.  About the man who blurted out a curse and was required to retrace his steps back into the cell when he was already making his way out.  About the house seized in Marda and which has now been annexed by the Shimshon Unit.  About the ‘grass widow' operation.  About Road 5, empty most of the days, while all the villages around are trapped under it.  About the orders to ‘close or open' the territories depending on Israeli festivals.  And above all about the vitality, about the bustle of life as it continues despite the difficulties.  It is Ramadan, people are dressed in their best clothes, greeting each other with festival greetings.  They are happy to meet acquaintances crossing the roadblocks, asking about others, ignoring the violent scenes around them.  Ignoring the fences, the concrete, the soldiers and the weapons.  They are simply trying to live, in spite of all the surprises and the obstacles in their way.


It is simply unbelievable.

Bethlehem, Thu 20.9.07, Afternoon

Share:
Observers: 
Dafna S., Tamar A. (reprorting)
Sep-20-2007
|
Afternoon


 

16.25 - 17.30: Upon our arrival 4 checking booths were open but only a few people wanted to pass. A family, on their way to Jerusalem, were delayed for several minutes because their daughter did not properly exhibit her birth certificate.

Five minutes later the queues to Bethlehem began. People rushed towards the checking booths with their food bags to end the fast day (Ramadan). The queues were of 20 people or even more, but nonetheless passage was quick and after seven minutes the place was empty. Soldiers closed the two rear booths expecting that pressure had eased for the day. Indeed during the next 10 minutes only a few people passed through the CP; two of them were asked by the woman soldier to go to the Bethlehem DCL. When asked why - she said “that is what is on my computer”.

Workmen generally arrive in groups as there is organized transportation from their place of employment.

At 16.50  pressure started to build up.   The soldier in the third booth was reclining in his chair and could not be seen from some distance; when we advised people to approach that post he maintained that it was closed.   However, after few seconds he started to work.

More people soon arrived, two long lines were formed and the queue overflew the area of the CP.   A  border policeman who appeared  was asked why another checking booth was not opened.   “It will be opened, eventually

but it is not urgent” he answered and then reported via the communication system that everything was under control.

Before long it became clear to him that pressure from out- side increased, that people had become nervous and that  order might be infringed.   “do you want me to close the door (of the  CP)?” he threatened.   Then he moved towards the door with another policeman and both of them put the waiting crowd at a distance of about 2 meters from the entrance.   They commanded those who were standing outside to form a line.   At 17.00, after order was re-established  a third booth was opened; the policemen let the people enter

the CP only when the queues inside got shorter.

Ten minutes later the pressure lessened; lines of about ten people were newly created but at 17.20 the CP was practically empty and the third booth was closed.

At 17.30, half an hour before the end of the fast, we left the area assuming that there was no likelihood of further pressure. 

In front of the road block to Rachel's tomb we saw 2 buses and 3 private cars. Other buses were waiting near the old CP No. 300, apparently Israelis who came for forgiveness prayers, a preparation for the day of atonement; there had been good reasons for asking god for pardon in view of the wrong that was done in and around the Checkpoints. 

A Border Police jeep  was stationed at the crossroad near  Tantur.   Ecumenical visitors told us that a few boys were detained on the Palestinian side of the CP, but that they were not allowed to talk to them; the soldiers said that the police would take care of them.  
 
 

Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 19.9.07, Morning

Share:
Observers: 
RahelM, Yoska M, Drora P (reporting)
Sep-19-2007
|
Morning
Rachel Checkpoint, Nebi Unis, Etzion DCL
 

 

 

6:45- Rachel checkpoint

Outside there were many vehicles and people. Inside the lines for the inspection posts were very long and there was a lot of anger that was expressed by loud speech. Women complained that some men took advantage of the crowding to touch them.

The security men patrolled and were threatening with their rifles and constant warnings.  

Five posts were manned. A soldier at one of the inspection posts was very slow. One person would pass through his lane at the time three passed at other inspection posts. We called the Humanitarian Center about this hoping he would be replaced or some other solution be found. 

We met an woman from the Ecumenical Christians. She told us that the checkpoint had opened at 5:10, only one post was open and that people stormed it. But the main problem was with the  the post with the slow soldier. One of the Palestinians was denied passage. He came to us. His permit was valid. Although he spoke Hebrew and the soldier wouldn't explain to him why he wasn't allowed to pass. When we asked the soldier for the reason, he answered that the man had to go to the DCL and renew his finger prints there.   
 

7:15 El Nashnash

One person had fine to pay, he came to us for help. 

8:30- Nabi Unis
A rolling checkpoint was created by a Hummer near halhul.  Traffic was slowed by this.


 
9:00- Etzion DCL

There were many people. They all had different reasons to be there. On the bulletin board weren't any specifications of the reception hours, not those of the DCL or one of the police. I spoke to the officer there and he said he would take care of it.

On the bulletin board was a notice, signed by the commander of this area, it was both in Arabic and Hebrew and it notified about the land confiscations which are valid until December 2008. The reason: security. I spoke to Dror Athkes from Peace Now about this. He was on vacation but said he would pass this information on. He told us: "Such announcements on land confiscations on grounds of security reasons are a recurring phenomenon and usually we aren't able to change the situation").  

יום ד' 19.9.07, בוקר

Share:
Observers: 
Sara K., Nina S. (reporting), Helen (Swedish guest)
Sep-19-2007
|
Morning

 

Translation: Nina S.

7.30 Zaatara-Tapuach junction

Calm, no lines, no limits of passage. Helen was here since 6 am and reports it was like that all the time, so we continued to Huwwara.

7.50 Huwwara

Calm, a short line of pedestrians, 2 active CPs, sometimes only one.

Passage for cars west of the checking cubicle has been closed by barbed wire, so there is only one line for active use.

A dog trainer, with her dog, are present. While checking cars the driver and the passengers are requested to stand far away, it takes about 10 minutes. Cars that are not checked by the dog pass at about 3 minutes per car. The line is not long. Between one check and the next the soldiers take time to chat. A family of a woman, who seemed to be suffering pain and is on her way to hospital, was permitted to cross the CP on foot on the road, so she can get to the cab at the other end faster and will have a shorter way to walk.

8.20 A detainee is sent to the detention cubicle. We did not succeed to find out what the reason was for his detention. By the time we returned from Beit Furik (10.15) he had been released.

9.30 Beit Furik

Calm activity, the cab drivers say the CP was opened at 5 am and closes at midnight (in honor of Ramadan?) but no Nablus citizens may cross to visit their families in Beit Furik, in spite of the holidays.

10.15 Huwwara

No change, a new detainee - has Gaza ID. They are waiting for instructions. Another one was detained while we were there, he has an Israeli ID. The girl soldier is checking his telethon for his calls and asks questions about his family and friends, His answers are evasive and do not satisfy the army. They decide to call the police.

At Yitzhar there were no manned CPs

11.00 Zaatra -Tapuach junction

Quite, no lines.