Habla, Jubara (Kafriat), Ras 'Atiya, Te'enim Crossing, Tue 6.4.10, Morning

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Yael S., Ruti R. Translator: Charles K.

6:45  Habla agricultural gate should open now.  More than 40 people waiting to leave the town for the seam line, as well as a number of vehicles.

Two soldiers and an officer are here and have already opened the gate, but the person who sits in the inspection booth hasn’t arrived. 

Everyone waits…

6:50  The officer makes a phone call.  “She’s on her way,” he’s told.  He doesn’t take our suggestion to let people through after inspecting them manually.  Yael called the DCO to inform them of the delay.

6:55  A female MP arrives, shuts herself in the booth.  She apologizes to no one.

Everyone waits…

7:05  The soldiers allow the first five Palestinians to approach the turnstile.

Everyone waits…

7:08  The MP lets three of them through the turnstile.

7:13  The first three emerge.  Every minute is important in the morning, and they aren’t going to work in an office, but to work the land!

Why only three?  At 7:32, the officer enters the room, and apparently convinces her to let through five at one time.

7:35  Five Palestinians enter, emerging 6 minutes later.

From the time the checkpoint opened, until 7:41, only 20 people went through!!!!!

A person exiting tells us that every day the checkpoint fails to open and let people through on time, but, on the other hand, if someone is late returning, even by a minute or two, he’s not allowed to enter.

At 8:00 they’re supposed to close; we didn’t remain to confirm this.  There were still 40 people on line when we left.

Vehicles and wagons also go through, the soldiers carefully inspecting every compartment and opening every door.

One of the people coming through asked why they don’t move to daylight savings time, open at 6:30?  Opening at 6:00 would be even better. 

7:55  Ras A-Tiya checkpoint. The female teachers struck here because of the new order requiring them to go through the inspection booth.  Since then, though, they’ve been going through the booth.

When we arrived, six teachers who had to leave the village to reach the nearby school aren’t able to go through – they’re prevented by the DCO (maybe because yesterday they came in through a different gate?)

We learn that from those who’ve already come through, and see the teachers at the checkpoint.  We call the DCO.

8:05  The teachers come through.  They’re late, and haven’t time to talk.

We stayed a little longer and to watch the routine – exiting entering undergoing inspection removing inserting opening closing being questioned answering rummaging releasing. 

8:30  A jeep at the entrance to Azzun.

8:45  Two jeeps at Jit junction.

8:55  A jeep at the junction of Routes 60 and 57 (the road to the barrels checkpoint).  He wasn’t there on our way back.

9:05  Anabta – No soldiers at the checkpoint. 

9:30  Te’anim checkpoint

The police on the Israeli side are inspecting people coming in – Israeli license plates.  Almost no traffic on the Palestinian side.

We asked to enter Jubara.  (“Do you live there?,” the soldier asks.)  A polite soldier unlocks the gate for us, and locks it after us.  “Honk when you want to leave.”

The village is quiet; one or two cars driving on the road.  A grocery is open.  We drove through the whole village, reaching the agricultural gate on the other side. 

9:45  The Jubara agricultural gate

A vehicle on the way into the village is detained – it’s carrying a water pump that lacks permission to go through.  The soldier at the checkpoint calls the DCO for approval.

Two detaineesinfo-icon are suddenly visible among the concrete blocks on the side of the checkpoint!  The soldier orders them to sit back down and lower their heads.  In reply to our question, he said that they are “present illegally,” and he’s already called the DCO to see whether they’re wanted.  We gave them water and asked how long they’ve been there – half an hour.

A jeep is parked on the other side of the checkpoint, about 500 meters down the road at the turnoff to Tulkarm, where the A-Ras checkpoint was once located, and soldiers inspect every car going past.  At least five cars wait on each side.  There are also two cars which have obviously been detained.  We weren’t allowed to go there, and all we could see from a distance was that the detained vehicles had been released (including a taxi that had waited at least 20 minutes).

The truck carrying the pump was permitted to go through; the detainees are still sitting in the sun, heads bowed.

10:25  We left.