Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Huwwara, Jit, Thu 10.2.11, Afternoon

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Yaffa Wacks, Shoshi Anbar (reporting and photographing)

Natanya translating

A security incident in the area of Habla.

13.50The gatesinfo-icon are closed. There are no soldiers in the area. From the direction of the village 2 buses with pupils wait. It is cold and rainy and grey. Those who are sitting in the shelter say that the gates did not open at 13.00. Some of them have lit a fire. We phone the DCO and hear that there has been a security situation and the soldiers were sent to deal with it. We explain the situation at the gate and are told that they are aware of the situation. Only when the situation has been resolved will the gates be opened. We phone the Humanitarian centre. They had heard about the situation from a woman in the bus. We are passed over to the Centre but they have nothing new to tell us. No one is prepared to say when the gate will be opened.

14.30A Hummer passes on the patrol road but does not stop. Rumors tell of an incident at the entrance to the  nursery of Al Haruf (the first that is met on the way of those going in the direction of Israel. 3 army vehicles and a number of soldiers around them. Because of the rain and the fog on the car windows it is hard to see what is happening and it seems that there is a bound man sitting on the ground with his back to the army vehicles. Not very successful attempts were make to photograph the army vehicles on the other side of the nursery.

14.50We go back to Habla. Some of the Palestinians have despaired and have begun a journey on foot to the Eliyahu crossing and from there will go with a taxi through Qalqiliya and Habla. Also the buses with the children have gone through Qalqiliya. Those who remain light fires. We go back to the incident at the nursery. Only a lone jeep has remained but the gates of Habla do not open and those at the Centre answer politely that there is nothing new to report.

15.00The Eiliyahu crossing  some lone cars in all directions. We go to Huwwara and meet a General Security Services prohibited.

At Git junction there has been an accident between an army vehicle and a Palestinian vehicle. Police and ambulances are present.

15.40 Huwwaracheckpoint.  No soldiers to be seen. A few cars in both directions. In the village we meet M. who is General Security Services prohibited. He has to sign some forms.

Huwwara village. At the falafel store where we speak to M. who worked for many years in Israel and speaks Hebrew we are approached buy Ramzi. who  tells us that the day before yesterday he and his brother went through at the Huwwara checkpoint in their car to Nablus and a border policeman stopped them and hit his brother, shouting, “Why are you looking at me . Why do you not know Hebrew. “ We gave him the card of Machsomwatch in the hopes that he can be helped.  

Armed with falafel and knafe we go to our car and a procession with Salem Faid accompanied by Israelis guards close to him passes us on the way to Nablus. Is this the reason that there are no soldiers at the checkpoint?

 After all yesterday and the day before the checkpoint was manned. And maybe at last IDF has decided to take down this unnecessary checkpoint.

16.35We go back to Habla to see what is happening since we left. We go through Einabus, Jamma'im and Deir Istiya to road 55 which returns us to Habla. It seems that because of the rain  the road is almost empty of cars and along the way the almond trees are in blossom amongst the olive trees.

17.30 The Eliyahu crossing.We pass quickly through the route of the settlers and enter Habla. The passage is open. There is no one waiting there. We hear from the soldiers about the incident which ended only at 16.50 and then the gate was open. The reason 3 Palestinians jumped over the fence and the soldiers were conducting a search. We try to speak to the soldier but the military …….shut them up.

There were people especially older people who had been waiting from 13.00

18.00 we leave Habla and go back to Kfar Saba.