Beit Amin - Abu Salman CP (# 1447), 12:25: We arrive early to talk with Palestinians who arrive at the gate early, but this time only meet a youth and his wagon. He is shy and speaks only Arabic.
Two more arrive, one on a tractor and one with a horse and wagon. They are returning to their home in Azzun Atma.
12:45: The military vehicle arrives on time. The MP turns to us politely and asks that we refrain from photographing, because it is a military zone. Although there is no sign, we choose not to argue.
First came a tractor loaded with hyssop immediately followed by a cart and horse and then the cart owner and the donkey.
A tractor arrives, the driver joking with a wide smile, and immediately approaches the soldier. The second MP is a little less polite: "Hold still, not here, not too far." It is hard to resist commenting on her style, but if we do, the Palestinians will be the ones to suffer, so we shut up.
A man came over to complain that the Abu Salman-Jalud barrier No. 1419 does not open at noon, which is a hardship for those who live nearby. They must remain in the field until 15:20 or reach the CP where we meet him. It's a long way around.
13:00: When all have crossed, the team closed the CP and left for Habla.
13:20: Habla CP - No. 1393
The gate is open, but passage is not allowed. 11 people waiting, plus
the nursery pickup truck plus cart owner and his horse.
13:25: The first group enters the inspection area.
13:31: The horse and wagon enter.
Passage is very slow on both sides. Either the checks are very through, or the new staff is learning the ropes.
People say they have been waiting for a half hour since the gates opened.
Proceeding toward the nursery are two carts, two pickups with plants, cars and pedestrians.
Today there is considerable number of vehicles, but everything is done irritatingly slowly. The Palestinians are quite tranquil.
14:00: Another truck comes out, and we leave.
In the nursery we meet a dark-skinned man. He says he hails from Tel Sheva, is 38, has a Bedouin father and a Jewish mother from Morocco. His parents have 15 children, all living in one big tent. He got married a year ago to a Jewish woman from the United States. All his family have served in the army. He lives in Kfar Sava and works as a gardener.
His message: Listen to the other, try to understand the other, study the customs of the other. We agree, of course.
Our friend A. adds that we should all look forward, pacify the area, let the muddy waters pass.
Three weeks ago an Ethiopian man took a hitchhiker toward the nursery. At Eliyahu CP they were harrassed, questioned and interrogated: Where to, where from, why? The Ethiopian was asked: Aren't you afraid to ride with an Arab?
15:00: Azzun. No army. In the village there are still earthworks. We detour to the store. Z tells us that every evening at 19:00 the army arrives to stop cars for inspection, both outgoing and incoming. A kind of routine.
15:30 We leave. No lines at Eliyahu CP.