Biddu Checkpoint, Ramot Checkpoint, Wed 21.4.10, Afternoon
15:30 - 18:00
Correction to our earlier report -- most of the area of this enclave is part of Area C and only a small part of it is in Area B.
Seven villages are imprisoned by the fence: Biddu, Beit Iksa, Kubeibah, Katana, Beit Sureik, Beit Anan and Kfar Duku.
Entrance for cars: Through the Ras Biddu CP which is between Biddu and Beit Iksa which has not yet been surrounded by the wall. Beyond the cars, in addition to the internment camp of the seven villages, there is the internment camp of Al Jib to the northeast. The Al Jib internment camp is surrounded on the south by the wall that is on the border of Road 443, and on the west by the wall that borders on the Nebi Samuel - Giv'at Ze'ev road. The internment camps of Biddu and Al Jib are connected by the "Texture of life" road --- described below.
In the Al Jib internment camp there is a CP only for pedestrians. It is to the west of the camp. On the side of Givat Ze'ev this CP is near a gas station of Delek. From inside the Al Jib internment camp the Palestinians can reach Bir Nabala, to go under 443 and from there to go on to Ramallah.
All the workers with permits must come to Ramallah from these two internment camps, from there to Qalandiya, and from there to work, every day.
We entered with our car through the Ras Biddu CP. We passed Biddu, dirt roads, and we twisted to the north until the Wadi. At the gas station, they directed us to the "Texture of life" road which connects the internment camp of the seven villages (Biddu) and the internment camp of Al Jib.
I do not have the words to describe this road accurately. It is not simply a road for the Palestinians that passes under the road for the Israelis. It is a prison, a long, narrow prison in the form of an underground tunnel. In it cars travel very close to the two sides of the road, the eight meter high wall that we know well. Above this wall, there is a metal fence. This prison is long. You travel in the sections of the tunnel, reach areas in which there are square openings above, all fenced in; through them daylight enters the tunnel. Then you are swallowed again into the next section of the prison of a road. This prison passes under the Nebi Samuel-Givat Ze'ev road, and under a great many plots of land that touch on the above road from west to east.
When Israelis travel on the road above, it is impossible to imagine what was built underneath.
The minute you get to the internment camp of the villages, you are totally imprisoned within it.
The road, "Texture of life", makes mobility possible from village to village or between the internment camps. It is impossible to go out into Israeli territory. Palestinians can leave the two internment camps without permits, but only to go to Ramallah.
We went on to Al Jib and we found ourselves in a CP that opens out to Giv'at Ze'ev; for pedestrians. This CP serves the workers who work in New Giv'on. From Al Jib it is possible to get to Ramallah, a distance of 15 kilometers, but that is for the next report. Since we wanted to return to Israeli territory, we had no alternative but to twist again up the ascent to Biddu and from there to come out through Ras Bidu, Beit Iksa, and the Ramot CP.
This trip in the internment camp of the villages and on the 'Texture of life" road was a chilling experience.
It is worth our while to include this CP in our observations.
16:37 - Four young men are already detained by the soldiers (they were apparently caught in an attempt to enter Jerusalem without permits). Their knapsacks are being inspected. They are kept at a distance from one another. They are not allowed to talk to one another. They are waiting. Near us, two workers from the civil administration are also waiting. They are hoping that there will be some easing of the rules so that they will be able to go through the CP at Ramot to their homes in Anata. Telephone calls do not help. They are forced to go from Ramot to Qalandiya, through the enclaves that we defined above, and from there to Anata. They explain to us --- through the Ramot CP people enter Jerusalem only those with blue ID cards (Israeli IDs). All the rest -- cars and people can travel and come into Israel only through Qalandiya.
17:00 We go on to Nebi Samuel. At the exit from Nebi Samuel, we see a police car parked, it detained a car with a yellow licence plate that emerged from Nebi Samuel. At the Al Jib CP only for pedestrians, on the side of Givat Ze'ev, we saw a black dog belonging to the army running around in the compound.
17:20 -- Ramot CP again. In addition to the four detainees, there is now one more young man. The soldiers demanded that we get out of the area of their CP. They forbade us to take pictures. They were convinced after we showed them a permit to take pictures from "B'Tselem".
Workers are returning on foot from Ramot in the direction of Beit Iksa and the Ras Biddu CP. They are inspected today by the soldiers at the CP. This does not happen every day.
17:35 -- The five detainees are put into a Transit of the Border Patrol. They wait.
18:00 We leave. The five are still waiting in the Transit.