'Anabta, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Te'enim Crossing, Thu 18.8.11, Afternoon

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Riva B., and Karin L. (reporting)

Translator: Hanna K.

13:10 Habla, Agricultural Gate #1393

The gate was opened a few minutes ago, about seven men are waiting for their turn on the benches which are still shaded. They pass without delays, and so does the tractor which draws a pile of dried plants. A few vehicles and a truck laden with wood pass from the direction of Habla. . A woman who speaks Hebrew, who is an agricultural labourer in Israel and who wishes to return to her home in Habla, arrives. In the morning she is obliged to pass through the Eyal Crossing, because the Habla gate is opened too late for her and for the other agricultural labourer who take advantage of the early morning hours to work in the fields.

13:35 Eliyahu Crossing – the traffic flows

Izbat at Tabib
There is no change in the length of the louped barbed fence which runs along part of the road which runs in the direction of Azoun. At Azoun it is quiet, there are hardly any people on the streets, the shops are shut. We continue on the road which passes beneath road no. 55, in the direction of Jiyus. We drive northwards in the direction of Tul Karem on the road that has been renovated, miss the entrance to Palamiya, pass the villages of Jamal, Kafr Tzur and A-Ras until we reach the southern Jubara CP. There apparently is no military presence, but the driver of the Palestinian vehicle which arrives knows that he has to stop, leave his vehicle, go to the small building, toss his papers into a small compartment, enter and be checked, before he returns to his car and enters the village.

We go back up to the square at Kafr Tsur, and continue eastwards in the direction of Punduk (there are signposts, we admire many of those all along the road) and at the fork we take the road which branches out in the direction of north east ( and which doesn't yet appear in any of the new road maps I've seen) and leads to Beit Lid and from there northwards to Anabta.

Anabta – Nothing has changed at the CP, the vehicles pass (we were astonished not to see any vehicle with Israeli number plates) and the soldiers (provided they are there) are indiscernible.

14:45 Shufa
The reason for the absence of Israeli vehicles returning from Tul Karem is made clear at Shufa. The permanent obstruction on the road leading from upper Shufa to lower Shufa has been removed in part, some of the big blocks and giant stones have been moved and it is possible to pass by vehicle. We continue a few hundred meters to visit S. and his wife. We have a long conversation with him about the "situation". He explaines that during the holiday (Ramaddan) the blockade has usually been removed for 3 to 4 days, but this time it has been open during the entire month. They got the information from the Red Cross. A great number of Israeli vehicles which come from the direction of Tul Karem pass on the road.

During former visits at the village everybody stressed that this blockade made their life more difficult than anything else. They intend approaching the authorities with the request that it be removed entirely.

Kafriat/Te'enim crossing
There are few vehicles. Our trunk is checked (we are still with the flags). The checking of cars belonging to Israeli Arabs is more thorough, packages are removed from the cars for inspection.

16:00 Irtah
There aren't many workmen, everybody hurries through the big gate which is wide open.