Ar-Ram, Bir Nabala, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, Sun 9.3.08, Afternoon

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Roni H, Norah O, Elit R, Tamar F (reporting)

includes the story of the terrorist woman caught with a knife / the general closureinfo-icon in the territories extended by one day meanwhile, but as we know the long arm is always ready...
Roni, who called the Humanitarian Centre to ask if the closure continues, was answered by the telephonist that she does not know why, how much, and what is closure. Only another call and another young woman produced an answer: "Residents of the Territories are forbidden entry into Israel." This collective punishment creates an image of business as usual and everything is okay. Under the surface, the reality is different: as though a heavy boot is treading and pressing more and more on the heads of people sunk up to the neck in the hardships of the reality, and as if there is insufficient air to breathe. It is only a matter of time till all this will surface, arise and explode.

Ar-Ram Checkpoint
15:15  the lane leading in to Ar-Ram has been narrowed. Many Border Police and personnel of Modiin Ezrahi Security Company Are manning the checkpoint and are a stark contrast to the non-presence of Palestinians.

Qalandiya Checkpoint
15:25 the pedestrian checkpoint is almost completely deserted. Two checking stations were open all the time we were there. Three new cameras installed high above the lanes leading to checking stations and turned towards the northern side of the checkpoint, to the first turnstiles. When we sought to pass the Government Center at 15:32, a woman soldier on Lane 5 told us that the Centre is locked at 15:30 precisely, and in any case there is an order from Abuhatzeira that we can come there only with his approval. We wanted to go to the DCO plaza, and this particular soldier had not yet heard of prohibition on going there, so the gate opened. But there was no one to meet there, so we exited to the vehicle checkpoint.
15:40 � at the vehicle checkpoint, the checks are done very slowly, so noticeable that the passengers descending from the vehicles to pass the pedestrian checkpoint

emerged (unusually) ahead of the cars and minibuses and were compelled to wait for them. A civilian dog minder and dog from time to time broke away from their amusements and acrobatic exercises to check the baggage compartments. We left at 16:30.

An acquaintance with a shop in the refugee camp told us about the harsh happenings there on the recent Fridays. Do our shifts go to Qalandia on that day?
From a distance we saw thin traffic at Atarot Checkpoint.

Story of the Terrorist Woman Caught on Saturday As told to us by one of the functionaries at the checkpoint (my comments in the text of the story):

The young woman, with a Territories ID but no permit (on a day of closure a permit to cross is of no significance) arrived at the pedestrian checkpoint (the army version was important to hear, because had it been the vehicle checkpoint, there could possibly have been physical contact between her and the soldiers or police. Such a contact is not possible at the pedestrian checkpoint!). The woman soldier on duty sent her back. An hour later she returned. The soldier remembered her and told her to go back the way she came.. The girl insisted on passing. The metal detector began to chirp. The soldier asked why, and the Palestinian said there is nothing. The woman soldier noticed that, despite the heat, the Palestinian was wearing a long sleeved garment (as though a Palestinian dressed from head to foot is an unusual or suspicious affair). The soldier called security, the knife was found in her sleeveinfo-icon, and the rest was on the media.

Bir Nabala Checkpoint
17:05  a line of 15 cars was waiting at the checkpoint. Border Police were running the checks, and apart from them a large group of soldiers were stationed on the hill by the pillbox. They hastened to Roni and Elit, who were the first at the checkpoint, to clarify who we were. A woman soldier said she was in the regular army and had never encountered MachsomWatch. They all praised the checkpoint, and Roni learned that it is the checkpoint that allows her son to lead a quiet life.

Bir Nabala Checkpoint is not graced by visiting and interested eyes. Our shifts only get there rarely, and even photos don`t convey the scope of the harm done each day and every minute to the individual and his vehicle, and even the landscape is of "blossoming" plastic bags instead of the blooms of Spring: to the obstacles that the driver must overcome on his way to the checkpoint have been sharp edged road margins deepened following the rfains. All this caused a driver to open his window and voice protest. A Border Policeman from the other side of the road responded: "It`s all ahla, ahla."
17:35 � as we left, Norah counted 40 cars in front of the checkpoint.

Lil/Jaba Checkpoint
18:00 � thin traffic, random checks of passengers in Transits. [L]