'Anabta, Qalqiliya, Mon 14.4.08, Morning

Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Email
Frances T. Osnat R (Reporter) Translator: Orna B.

06:40 Ras Tira
The checkpoint is closed. It's completely deserted except for a
few workmen waiting on the other side of the checkpoint. There are no
soldiers. We rang the Centre and were told that they will check the
06:50 A lorry arrived and some soldiers descended
and started slowly to prepare the operation of the checkpoint:
unloading of weapons, wearing bullet proof vests, opening the gatesinfo-icon of
the road block etc. The Border Police are not in presence at the road
06:55 They are starting to open the gates. From Ras-e-Tira cars begin to arrive.
A soldier approaches the gate. When we ask him when is the gate to
be opened he answers that it depends on the  roster. About 20-30 workmen
approach the revolving gate. Cab drivers leave their vehicles and
approach the revolving gate. They are meant to pass through the
magnometer before going through with their cars.
07:00 The first cart is passing in the direction
of Ras Tira. Frances speaks to awaiting drivers. They tell her
that the checkpoint is closed at times at 05:00 and occasionally at
6:30 pm, "when they [the soldiers] feel like it".
07:07 The entrance to the magnometer is opened at last.
07:12 The first workmen leave the checkpoint. 4
children from the house adjacent to the checkpoint arrive and await
patiently for permission to approach. Later many more children arrive,
and go through with practically no inspection, but the eldest among
them are asked at times to present permits. One has to remember that
the children are passing from an "Israeli" area to a Palestinian one.
Women leaving Ras- Tira are not asked to go through the magnometer.
07:30 We leave.
07:40 Elijah Passage.
About 30-40 workmen are waiting beyond the fence that surrounds the checkpoint.
07:45 Qalqiliya
There are hardly any queues when we arrive. But this must be a day
for the General Security Forces' interrogations. The sight repeats
itself. A cab is stopped, the younger passengers are asked to get out.
The cabs are asked to wait by the side. ID cards are taken for
inspection. Several minutes later one of the the checkpoint soldiers is
asked to escort one of them towards another soldier who awaits by
the checkpoint. Having asked the youth to lift up his shirt a second
soldier takes him aside, frisks him and then leads him to behind the
concrete road block. There awaits probably a third man who we did not
see. The youths are interrogated for about 15 minutes, and then they
still await the completion of the inspections. They emerge relatively
calm from the interrogation, and according to one of the cab drivers
the interrogators are"ok".
Upon our arrival such a cab was stopped and they were let through at 08:05
08:50 Still all three cabs are waiting , the
first one has been waiting for 50 minutes. Then they stopped another
cab and minutes later, another. Later we met its passengers in Beit Iba
and they said that they were  let through about half an hour after they
had been stopped. Others were still wating.
From 08:20 onwards the queue begins to build up
at the exit from Qalqiliya, about 15-20 vehicles, although usually the
inspection is quick.
10:45 Anabta
There has been a long queue at the entrance when we parked, but by the time we got to to the checkpoint the queue shrunk.
There are practically no inspections at the entrance. It is hot
and the soldier at the check post for entering vehicles went into the
check post and is barely visible. A car from the direction of Tulkarm
assumes that the checkpost is unmanned and dares approach before
getting the famous waive of the hand. A lively and unpleasant
conversation ensues between the soldier who rebukes the Israeli
Palestinian who had dared approach uninvited, and the latter who does
not wish to be talked to in this manner. In the end the soldier lets
him through.
10:55 No queues at the entrance nor at the exit.
11:10 We saw from the road that there were no vehicles at all on the A-ras road, so we continued on home.