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אורנית, מהצד הזה של הגדר

יום ש' 14.7.07, בוקר

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Observers: 
Shula N., Noa L. (reporting)
Jul-14-2007
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Morning

Translation: Devorah K.

 0730-0800 Shaked CP
There are vehicles and pedestrians on both sides of the CP.  The passage is slow and takes about half an hour. A boy who comes form the West Bank is not allowed to go through and he has no way of discovering why. A vehicle that comes from the Barta'a enclave is not allowed to go through except for one passenger, who gets out and goes ahead on foot. The vehicle turns back quite quickly and we cannot find out exactly what happened here.

0815-0930 Rihan CP
The compound is spick and span. There are additional fences, gatesinfo-icon and an additional building. The entrance to the terminal is empty, but it turns out that more than 50 people are waiting inside. Some of them have been waiting for an hour and a half. The reason: the computer is down and it is impossible to inspect the documents. A quarter of an hour later people begin to come out very speedily until all of them leave. In the meantime some more people arrive from the direction of Barta'a and enter without any delays. From outside, we hear an argument with a man who has come from Nablus. He has a permit for himself to go through, but not for his son who came with him and therefore he is not allowed through. Our calls and requests to talk to the officer on duty are totally ignored. We do not succeed in making contact at all and so we cannot help. There is no telephone reception at all.

Vehicle CP:
  As usual we went on foot, but we were stopped courteously by armed civilians from the Security Guards firm: "The area is sterileinfo-icon and it is impossible to walk around in it; you may take the car to the Palestinian parking lot as long as you are aware of the fact that this is on your own responsibility." At the same time a family of settlers or of settlers' guests, was in the "sterile area", waiting for the 'secure' ride which came for them later.
We went back to our car and drove to the Palestinian side, from there we observed the vehicle inspections: four vehicles are inspected at once by dogs. The inspection takes about 20 minutes, not counting the wait-time before it starts. We talked a bit with the drivers and with Walid. They send regards to all the members of the Northern group and say that things are fine.
In general: without "white lines" or any particular belligerence, quietly and courteously, we are increasingly kept from meeting Palestinians, from talking to the commanders of the CPs, from observing closely what is really happening and from intervening when there is a need. Under these conditions, we can only accept as true what the people who leave the CP tell us. This is indeed segregation!

summaries by timeframe

  • Weekly Digest (only in English)
  • MachsomWatch Alerts -  a monthly summary of daily reports from checkpoints inside the West Bank, along the separation barrier and on the Green Line, as well as from the District Coordination and Liaison Offices of the Civil Administration. Alerts focuses each month on a different aspect of the Occupation. MachsomWatch Alerts are also obtainable in German and in French.
English

יום ב' 9.7.07, בוקר

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Observers: 
Anna NS, Netta G (reporting)
Jul-9-2007
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Morning
Translation: L. Williams

05:35 - 09:30

05:35 Rihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
The dog is on duty in the lot next to the vehicle checkpoint. Waiting for the first cars. The workers and the seamstresses arrive at the Palestinian parking lot and are swallowed immediately by the terminal. Occasionally the guard in the hut shows considerable interest in the contents of their bags, before they go to be checked inside.
From acquaintances based permanently in the Palestinian parking, we hear:
• in recent days there is a checkpoint causing great delays between Arabe and Juba, on the main road to Nablus. Even after a prolonged wait, drivers up to age 35 are not allowed to reach Nablus or further south. Their journey usually ends at Beit Iba.
• there is a "certain improvement" at the Amriha-Mevo Dotan Checkpoint. In the last few days it has opened at 05:00 approximately.
• the squabble between people from Bartaa and from Qabatia, reported yesterday, is still continuing. A Qabatia resident working in East Bartaa was beaten up and hospitalised. People from Qabatia arrived last night at the Palestinian parking lot and tried to prevent Bartaa drivers from traveling until the checkpoint commander intervened and sent them away. This morning, Qabatia people did not come to work in Bartaa.
• Qabatia residents placed a kind of obstacle and are not permitting East Bartaa residents to reach Jenin. As if the IDF checkpoints were not enough...

06:45 Aanin Checkpoint

Men, women (in embroidered dresses) and children are passing. One of them tells us that he is number 57 on the list that a man from Aanin drew up this morning, and another 50 are waiting.
07:00 – the soldiers lock the gatesinfo-icon. A lieutenant explains that they have been summoned urgently, and will be back in ten minutes. They return in seven minutes.
There is another list, drawn up by the army and, in the frame of the theater of the absurd that is the checkpoints, there are people who fear that they are not included, and therefore when they return in the afternoon they will have problems passing the checkpoint to go home. The officer says they are all listed, but three men refuse to cross before confirming that they are on the army’s list. After considerable pleading, the soldier condescends to take their IDs and check, returning with the revelation: they are listed, they are regulars, and therefore only a "v" will be marked next to their names. The men calm down and go on their way.
We leave before they close the checkpoint gates.

08:10 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint

Light traffic of pedestrians passing through the inspection hut. One car enters the Seam Zone. The soldiers sit in the shade of their khaki-coloured parasol.

08:35 Rihan-Bartaa Checkpoint

Three pick up trucks loaded with agricultural produce being checked on the plot next to the vehicle checkpoint, before entering the closed compound for another inspection. One private car is also checked. Six more tenders, and many cartons of eggs are waiting in the parking lot.
A driver complains that yesterday they used a dog to inspect meat in his vehicle. The dog jumped on the meat and defiled it. Can’t be eaten. The supervisor of the checkpoint apologised, but it is too late...
Another driver says that sometimes drivers are checked inside the white hut by the vehicle checkpoint, and are told to remove their trousers.
A merchant complains that he is not being allowed to transfer a large sum of money to Bartaa, where he has a business. There is no bank in Bartaa and he customarily pays cash for goods that he orders from Israel.
Anna meets a resident of Kafin to try to help in obtaining agricultural permits and improving the hours of transit. The man says that many agricultural permits have been confiscated because the farmers did not return to Kafin on the day that they crossed to their land in the Seam Zone. He shows us forms confirming the confiscation of the permits. The forms note the gates at which Kafin farmers are permitted to cross: most of them at Kafin Gate, 436, and the minority at Old Bartaa (Dahar el Abed) 386.

יום א' 8.7.07, בוקר

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Observers: 
Nava R. Hanna H. (reporting)
Jul-8-2007
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Morning

 07:10 - 09:30   
Translation: Devorha K.

07:10 Rihan-Barta'a
The men and women laborers who go to work early have already gone through and been driven away. There is a slow stream of people who arrive from the direction of the West Bank on their way to the seamline zone; all of them are happy with the rhythm of the passage.

At the entrance to the 'sleeveinfo-icon' near the upper parking lot, a new gate with a lock is being put up. The CP is spick and span and even the ditch between the fences has been cleaned.

In the vehicle CP three transits with goods are being inspected (numbers 4 to 6 for today) and another eight are waiting in the lower parking lot. A new shed has been built for the drivers who wait while their vehicles are being inspected in the closed off area.

At the opening of the terminal on the side of the seamline zone, there sit two young boys who are being held because they do not have documents. They are from Kabatiya and were working in Barta'a, but yesterday a fight broke out among people in Barta'a and at night the fellows from Kabatiya were beaten, wounded and banished. The experienced adults explain to the young fellows that they will be given the runaround for an hour or two, and then they will let them go through. After about 30 minutes, we saw that one of them had already gone through and the second one was not sitting near the entrance any more.

Boys (aged about 20) who were going through with their fathers to the seamline zone, were separated from the fathers in the terminal. The fathers went through immediately and the sons were delayed and inspected in the inspection rooms.

07:30 Many people arrive from the seamline zone, because of the expulsion from Barta'a. The passage is quick, 5-10 minutes.
 A woman student from Barta'a who wanted to go to the university in Jenin went back home in tears because she learned that the people from Kabatiya would not let her through to Jenin.

08:05 At the vehicle CP the three transits are released after an inspection of about an hour, and three other vehicles are called for inspection. This time the inspection is faster and at 8:30 and again at 09:00 three additional cars enter.
 
In the Palestinian parking lot there is a lot of noise; the Kabatiya - Barta'a fight has reached the CP. Everybody is fighting with everybody else and a long queue of people gathers at the gate to the terminal.

One of the drivers who has a permit to transport goods in his car has a new vehicle; He claims that all the records have been confirmed and all the necessary documents are in order, and still he has been waiting for a permit for his new car for several weeks and there is no progress. He appealed to the DCO with the help of the Head of the Local Council but that did not work either. In the meantime, he has no means of earning a livelihood.  

At the parking lot we met a pair of worried parents from a village near Jenin.They were waiting for their son who is ill and needs to be hospitalized; he is supposed to be returning from Barta'a without appropriate papers. They asked us to talk to the person responsible for the CP so that the fellow will not be delayed, but after we waited for 20 minutes in vain, we went down into the 'sleeve' and tried to talk to the military policeman at the inspection post. Since he is not allowed to come up to us, we negotiated with him by yelling. The fellow did reach him and he was let through immediately.
This again raises the question: who are we supposed to talk to when we encounter a humanitarian problem, now that the Ministry of Defense is resopnsible for the CP?

At 09:30, we left. 

Russian Compound, Jerusalem

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יום ד' 27.6.07, בוקר

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Observers: 
Vivian and Nava
Jun-27-2007
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Morning
Translation: Yael Bassis-Student

7:30 - Shaked
People cross over to both sides. Some are randomly taken into a small cabin at the center of the checkpoint and are thoughrolly examined under their cloths.

8:10 - Rihan
A swift passage of pedestrians to the terminal which is put on hold from time to time whenever a military jeep needs to cross the road at that point.

A fellow, who is about to explode from anger, arrives. He claims that yesterday he was detained for 3 hours inside the terminal , in a room at the side,before he was permitted to go.He holds passage permit,  valid until 2008, as an owner of agriculture land at Barta'a, yet he is denied passage.

We turned to the person in charge of security and he says that he is not aware of anyone being held for more than one hour, which  in his own opinion  is too much. We gave him the personal details of that individual.

On our way to Barta'a we came across  two more similar stories from people who were held for 2-3 hours.

Taxi drivers complains that due to the fact that the Rihan checkpoint closes at 21:00 and so is the checkpoint at Mevoh Dotan, when they return home after their last round at night, they can not cross through this checkpoint. They just sit and wait for 3-4 hours until one of the soldiers would make a gesture and open the gate for them.

יום ד' 27.6.07, בוקר

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Observers: 
Vivian and Nava
Jun-27-2007
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Morning
C, Wednesday 27.6.2007, a.m.
Observers:Vivian and Nava
C
Translation: Yael Bassis-Student
7:30 - Shaked
People cross over to both sides. Some are randomly taken into a small cabin at the center of the checkpoint and are thoughrolly examined under their cloths.
8:10 - Rihan
A swift passage of pedestrians to the terminal which is put on hold from time to time whenever a military jeep needs to cross the road at that point.
A fellow, who is about to explode from anger, arrives. He claims that yesterday he was detained for 3 hours inside the terminal , in a room at the side,before he was permitted to go.He holds passage permit,  valid until 2008, as an owner of agriculture land at Barta'a, yet he is denied passage.
We turned to the person in charge of security and he says that he is not aware of anyone being held for more than one hour, which  in his own opinion  is too much. We gave him the personal details of that individual.
On our way to Barta'a we came across  two more similar stories from people who were held for 2-3 hours.
Taxi drivers complains that due to the fact that the Rihan checkpoint closes at 21:00 and so is the checkpoint at Mevoh Dotan, when they return home after their last round at night, they can not cross through this checkpoint. They just sit and wait for 3-4 hours until one of the soldiers would make a gesture and open the gate for them.

יום ג' 26.6.07, בוקר

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Tammy S and Shula B
Jun-26-2007
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Morning

0900 - 0935
Translated by L. Williams
At the Rihan CP everything is wonderful, perfect.
The security guards are wearing clean uniforms, the dogs are highly trained.
The Palestinians do not bother anybody. At this time of day, there is practically no demand to pass through from here to there. If that is the case, the taxi drivers have no chance to make money during this period of time, and that is also wonderful. Why should they work so hard? Let them rest a bit.
Two pickup trucks with agricultural goods will be going through in a little while, they will certainly go through. If they did not have a good chance of going through they would not be here at all.
We brought three bicycles, one for Walid and two for the children of Bashar from Yaabed. They must think that all the Jewish women are sweet.
We bought some stuffed vegetables from Fatma and promised all of them that we will look for bicycles for their children as well.
We left just as we had come.
On the way home we went in to drink coffee at Nabil's place in the shade of the jocaranda and we had a pleasant conversation as if the edge of the shade is the edge of the world.

יום ה' 21.6.07, בוקר

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shula 1
Jun-21-2007
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Morning

 

Translation: L. Williams

 

07:00 Tayasir Checkpoint

Completely empty, not even soldiers to be seen.

After a few minutes cars begin to arrive from both directions. The soldiers emerge slowly and everyone passes.

From the direction of Tubas, shirts must be lifted, the passengers go where they are supposed to, pass on foot, then wait for the cars to collect them.

The paucity of cars shows that people avoid passing this checkpoint. Only with no other choice do they cross here. We heard this from many passers by at Hamra.

08:00 Hamra Checkpoint

A group of teachers are waiting for the taxi that brought them. They tell of the difficulties at Tayasir, and other checkpoints that are particularly bad. For example, Ein Deuk, where comers from Jordan are sent. It is a nuisance and necessitates a circuit instead of straight to Hamra.

A woman with four children receives from us bicycles for the kids - and the joy is great.

Yellow inscriptions standing out on the concrete slabs of the checkpoint proclaim: "God is King." The battalion is "Eternity of Judea" and the company "Maccabim" 97 - and other slogans carved in the concrete: "Holy Animals," "Honour to Eternity."

Immediately upon arrival a soldier comes over to us and offers cold water, and then another joins him and asks what are out purposes. He doesn't know MachsomWatch, only asks that we add to our tags "no to Katyushas [rockets]." Doesn't wait for answer and walks off in anger. Another soldier who stayed to talk sees justice in punishing Palestinians who make trouble, and when we argue against, he says "it's not us, it's the police." We have never see police at Hamra, but we have often seen detaineesinfo-icon."

"When will we be without checkpoints?" says a young Palestinian painfully, and another answers: "Someday it will be okay." Yet another comes over to show us permits from Judea and Samaria DCO for passage for two cars that he owns, but they won't let him through because he lives in Tamoun. If he would live in Jericho, there would be a possibility of crossing. He trades together with his children. From the multitude of prohibitions and restrictions we are also confused, don't understand why if this is the case were the permits given? But he has learnt to manage. He gives the cars to somebody from Jericho who passes them through.

The soldiers see and know - but he, who occasionally passes three times a day cannot take them through.

At the checkpoint itself, people and cars crossing quickly, without delays.

09:20 we leave.

יום ה' 21.6.07, בוקר

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Observers: 
Anina K, Revital S, Yehudit H
Jun-21-2007
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Morning

07:00 Tayasir Checkpoint
Completely empty, not even soldiers to be seen.
After a few minutes cars begin to arrive from both directions. The soldiers emerge slowly and everyone passes.
From the direction of Tubas, shirts must be lifted, the passengers go where they are supposed to, pass on foot, then wait for the cars to collect them.
The paucity of cars shows that people avoid passing this checkpoint. Only with no other choice do they cross here. We heard this from many passers by at Hamra.
08:00 Hamra Checkpoint
A group of teachers are waiting for the taxi that brought them. They tell of the difficulties at Tayasir, and other checkpoints that are particularly bad. For example, Ein Deuk, where comers from Jordan are sent. It is a nuisance and necessitates a circuit instead of straight to Hamra.
A woman with four children receives from us bicycles for the kids – and the joy is great.
Yellow inscriptions standing out on the concrete slabs of the checkpoint proclaim: "God is King." The battalion is "Eternity of Judea" and the company "Maccabim" 97 – and other slogans carved in the concrete: "Holy Animals," "Honour to Eternity."
Immediately upon arrival a soldier comes over to us and offers cold water, and then another joins him and asks what are out purposes. He doesn’t know MachsomWatch, only asks that we add to our tags "no to Katyushas [rockets]." Doesn’t wait for answer and walks off in anger. Another soldier who stayed to talk sees justice in punishing Palestinians who make trouble, and when we argue against, he says "it’s not us, it’s the police." We have never see police at Hamra, but we have often seen detaineesinfo-icon."
"When will we be without checkpoints?" says a young Palestinian painfully, and another answers: "Someday it will be okay." Yet another comes over to show us permits from Judea and Samaria DCO for passage for two cars that he owns, but they won’t let him through because he lives in Tamoun. If he would live in Jericho, there would be a possibility of crossing. He trades together with his children. From the multitude of prohibitions and restrictions we are also confused, don’t understand why if this is the case were the permits given? But he has learnt to manage. He gives the cars to somebody from Jericho who passes them through.
The soldiers see and know – but he, who occasionally passes three times a day cannot take them through.
At the checkpoint itself, people and cars crossing quickly, without delays.
09:20 we leave.