'Anabta, 'Azzun, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Te'enim Crossing, Mon 20.7.09, Afternoon

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Bil'ha A., Yona A.

Translation: Galia S.

14:35 – A military Hummer with soldiers stands on the roadside at the entrance to Azzun.


15:30 – As we approach the checkpoint, a soldier comes towards us and tells us quite aggressively to move off the checkpoint area. We try to explain that we have come to watch the checkpoint, but he says he knows all about us and about what we do, adding that this is a closed military area. Arguing with us whether it is or isn't a closed military area, he insists it is his checkpoint and if we don't move off he will call a policeman. Unfortunately, a policeman is right there in front of the checkpoint stopping cars and writing tickets before the cars stop as instructed by the soldiers. The soldier calls the policeman who comes and introduces himself as Ilan, asks to see our papers and tells us quite rudely in a condescending tone that we are allowed to do everything, take pictures, document but only behind the concrete cubs and under no circumstances should we interrupt the soldiers; or he would take us to the police station.

During the whole time and also after that there is lively car traffic to and from Tulkarm. The soldiers check each vehicle that leaves the city. Some of the entering cars have to go through two checkpoints: one of the police and another of the army. Ilan, the policeman, the salt of the earth/lord of the land, stops a big cab full of workers, takes documents, sends the driver to move the car to the roadside while he himself goes to his air-conditioned car where another policeman sits and they both check the documents and write down what looks like a report. Twenty minutes later the cab is free to leave. Despite the lively car traffic and the checks there are no long lines.

Jubara – The Figs Passage
16:10 – The soldiers instruct us to stop and want to know where from and where to we are going. They ask to see our papers and check the front and the back of the car.

16:20 – Tens of workers, coming back from work, come out of their employers' cars and of the cabs and rush to pass the checkpoint. The turnstiles are working, and the long line inside the building dissolves fast and the workers hurry to leave. Once in a while a Palestinian arrives from the opposite direction wishing to leave and within seconds the turnstile opens in the other direction and then reopens for the many workers who keep coming. Most of the workers greet us with a smile.

(This time we didn't go to Eyal Passage.)