Tarqumiya, Sun 24.2.08, Morning

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Ravid F., Aviva W. (reporting)

On the way to the CP (or as Chaled, the commander calls it “boarder pass” which it is) we saw tens of transits passing us. This tells us that the CP was opened before 5am. Chaled said that he opened it at 4:00. The people there want to give us all the credit though we said that we wish we could take the praise and glory for the actions of the army.
But this morning I actually feel that the constant presence of MW over the years has had an effect on how things are handled. This is apparent when the soldiers ask us, “well, what kind of report are you going to write today? What do you say about the line?” And we said that we are pleased that the windows are open, and that the people aren’t waiting to go through.
And while this is true, Israeli drivers of cars and vans with blue id cards waited to pass for up to a half an hour. When we asked about this policy Chaled “explained” that this is to guarantee the fabric of our lives. He went on to explain that they know all of the cars from the area, (he mentioned people from Kiryat Arba) and that’s why they don’t have to wait in line. Anyone, including me, from outside the area has to wait in the queue for inspection.

A man who had his ribs broken when he was crushed by the mass of people at the CP last month stopped to talk to us. He told us that another man had his leg broken, and a man suffocated and died when he fell down and wasn’t able to get up. I wonder if there is anything written about this (see report from Feb. 5th).

Before we left I bought the best falafel I’ve ever eaten from a vendor at the CP. We spoke to the drivers who were waiting in line. One came from Jaljuliah to visit his father at Yatta. He said that sometimes there is no waiting, but this morning he has waited a half an hour. Others came from E. Jerusalem and Abu Tor.

We left at 6:50.