Al Funduq' Arab ar Ramadin, 'Azzun, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Huwwara, Jayyus, Nabi Elyas, Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 14.3.12, Afternoon
Translator: Hanna K.
13:00 Habla. The gate has been opened on time. Trucks pass, as well as horse drawn carts, tenders and pedestrians. There is a lively traffic in both directions. With us next to the gate there also is an English language tour of MW. We notice that there is a greater than usual number of soldiers and a military hummer which entered the area and left again several times.
A young Palestinian tells us that he has finished his university studies but has no chance of finding a job. He will have to go to Saudi Arabia or to one of the emirates and try his luck there.
A big agricultural vehicle left the village and was checked quickly. A cart owner with his horse arrives. "What do you have under the heap of grass? iron? aluminium?" The cart is checked meticulously and the man is allowed to pass (the soldier explains that if his cargo would have been metal he would have to pass by the Eliyahu crossing).
13:30 We leave, although the children's bus hasn't passed yet. We turn to Alfey Menashe settlement for a tour on the prospering and well-groomed settlement and from there, for comparison, to Arab Ar-Ramadin. The children get off the bus they smile and are happy to welcome the visitors.
14:00 Eliyahu crossing. The gardening job advances with vigor. The workmen are from Jayyus. As usual we are politely sent away. From all directions security people dash towards us with the usual questions: Who are you? What are you looking for? You have no right to be here. We smile and continue on our way, crossing the road with the attached security escort. Palestinian cars are being checked on the right hand lane (in the direction of Samaria).
14:15 Through Nabi Elyas we turn right to Azzun and from there to Jayyus. We stop at the taxi station. Our friend N' isn't there but his friend comes out to us. He tells us that the situation is very bad indeed. People don't have money, so they don't take taxis. Once there were 150 owners of work permits in Israel, and today there are only 15. The others sit at home. The money which they receive from the Palestinian authority runs out after the first week of the month. A Saturday tour in a taxi is a luxury they cannot afford anymore.
14:40 We return to Road 55 to Al Funduq, and through Emmanuel settlement to the Za'tara/Tapuah Junction where we notice no special activity.
15:25 Huwwara CP – there is traffic without hindrance in both directions. We grab a quick falafel at Huwwara and back to Tel Aviv as Karin and Daphne have an appointment in Jerusalem regarding the film they are preparing about the Jordan Valley.
16:00 The Samaria crossing – there are queues in all the lanes but the traffic flows. A car with a Palestinian number plate is delayed for checking.