Al Jib (Givat Zeev), Bir Nabala, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Tue 28.8.12, Afternoon
While at Beit Hanina before heading on our way, an old man named Anton, a pensioner of the Red Crescent, approached us. He was very pleased to see us and explained how important it was that human activists be there, but then added: "Here all human rights are crushed".
The parking lot on the northern side of the checkpoint was filled with vehicles, but never the less the checkpoint was deserted.
On our way to El Jib checkpoint we parked just at the entrance to the village Bir Nabala, there a mysterious slit in the separation wall appeared before us. It seemed as though one of the wall's concrete beams had been removed.
Many vehicles were parked on the side of the road leading to El Jib checkpoint, and under the shade of the fig trees were drivers waiting to take the laborers with permits to pass through the checkpoint, back to their homes. When we arrived at the turnstile a BP officer escorted by another soldier came towards us. The officer described the checkpoint as one that served actual humanitarian needs: according to him, the essence of the checkpoint is to assist the Palestinians who work in Givon and Pisgat Zeev, since they no longer have to pass through Qalandiya checkpoint. He added that the El Jib checkpoint reduces the traffic at Qalandiya checkpoint. From a conversation we had with a friend that sells Falafel and coffee at the entrance to the checkpoint, as well as the one we had with one of the drivers, we learned that long line which are a result of strict inspections, often cause laborers to miss a day of work due of their tardiness. According to them, when missing a day of work a laborer might lose between 120 to 150 Shekels. In addition, it would seem that the officer had forgotten all those laborers wishing to get back home to El Jib, but that do not appear in the list of names of people who are permitted to pass. In these cases the soldier will send them to Qalandiya, a long and pricy journey.
At the end of the conversation, the officer approached the drivers and told them to park the cars that nearest to the checkpoint at the back, so as to create a 50 meter security zone. He explained to us that the possibility that one of them might park a vehicle with a bomb in it by the checkpoint worried him.
One of the drivers showed us an invite he received to work in a factory doing woodwork and construction. He was prevented passage by the police and wondered how he could ever pay a lawyer so that the prevention would be lifted, when he is a father of five who was currently making his living from driving laborers home.
At Jaba checkpoint it seemed that someone was overzealous as there were two trainers with their dogs. The checkpoint commander explained that this was a "routine inspection of the dogs". Is the inspection preformed there really of the dogs or is it perhaps it's actually an inspection of Palestinians? The attached photo is of a dog being rewarded after having found the ball his coacher placed in the vehicle of a Palestinian. Much has been said about the training of dogs using Palestinian vehicles that pass through this checkpoint, the following link is to an article by Amira Has that elaborates on this:
The driver of a passing vehicle didn't understand what the soldier was trying to signal him and broke through the checkpoint. One of the soldiers cocked his rifle and began chasing him, the driver stopped and was nearly shot. The four passengers were taken out of the car and detained while an inspection of the vehicle was being preformed. At last they were permitted to drive on. Perhaps, had we not been there this event might have ended differently.