'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Ras 'Atiya, Tue 13.10.09, Morning

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Natalie, Ruth Cohen (reporting)

Translator:  Charles K.

6:30  Habala
About 50 laborers waiting at the checkpoint when we arrived.  An APC arrives, but the soldiers wait to open the crossing until everything’s orderly.  The horses and donkeys are also waiting on line.

It looks like it will take an hour for everyone to go through.  We continue, so we’ll be able to watch the children and laborers going through at Ras A-Tiyya.

7:15  Ras A-Tiyya
As we drove toward the village we saw the children walking to school.  During the whole time we were at the checkpoint the vehicles going in and coming out were inspected, and there was a trickle of laborers and residents in both directions.  Everyone is inspected, except for the young children on their way to school.  The teachers are also inspected.  The vehicle inspection is diligent and lengthy.  We waited for the school bus to arrive at 7:45.  It was also rigorously inspected.  We continued on Route 55; there were still many laborers at Eliyahu gate who hadn’t yet crossed.  We continued to Deir Sharaf.

8:25  Deir Sharaf
Traffic flows all the time.  Occasionally a vehicle is pulled over for inspection.  As soon as we approach we’re reprimanded.  We moved away and left for Anabta.  There was a line of cars on the road because of road works.

8:50  Anabta
Confusion at the junction because of the renovations.  The taxi drivers are back, but there’s no work.  All are pleased that they can cross freely; there are no soldiers.  The only thing that isn’t clear is why such an expensive checkpoint was built; it must have been a mistake, laughs a taxi driver who invites us to come visit a restaurant in Tulkarm.

If only we could, soon.