'Anabta, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Thu 19.6.08, Afternoon
Traffic was moving going in and out of Qalqilyia. A taxi driver asked for our card. He said that mornings are usually fine but when there is the change of shift, which would be in about 15 minutes, things are more difficult. We did not stay since we wanted to get to Beit Iba. However, he did call to the hot line number and complain about a half hour later.
When we were at Beit Iba we were told by one of the taxi drivers that he had just came from the Anabta CP and he had to wait an hour and a half on the line leaving Tul Karm. He told us that the line to Tul Karm was also long. This was at 4:00PM. By the time we got to Anabta about three-quarters of an hour later, we were told by the taxi drivers that we had just missed a very difficult situation. The line to Tul Karm had gone all the way from the checking booth beyond the intersection which is about 300 meters away. The traffic now, however, was moving faster and there was not a long line.
We were going to stay for awhile but we saw a woman from Blue and White (an organization of right wing women who try to show support for the soldiers by bringing them sweets and giving them misinformation about MachsomWatch women) handing out cakes to the soldiers. Having had more then one confrontation with them in the past, I insisted we leave. I felt it would not be to anyone's benefit to have yet another useless meeting with them.
As we headed for Jubara we saw from the main road (route 557) that there was a long line of cars leading to the A Ras CP in the direction from Tul Karm.
We needed to request that the commanding officer at the Jubara CP open the gate to the village of Jubara for us. When we arrived at the Children's Gate on the other side of the village, we were met by a new crew of reserve soldiers who had just started their first shift in this area about 2 hours before. As far as they understood, anyone coming through who was Israeli had to first make an appointment and come with written permission in hand. We tried to explain that MachsomWatch comes through twice a day and that we have permission. He wanted to check first with those from "above." He asked us to back up and wait on the Jubara side of the gate.
As we were waiting, we see the woman from Blue and White, whom we had tried to avoid at the Anabta CP, drive up on the security road. The security road is a military road used only by the army. The soldiers wanted to check her out as well. She claimed she had gotten permission from the army to drive one way on the road to the Children's Gate CP but that on the way back she had been told to drive through the village of Jubarra.
We continued waiting. It was a scene from a movie. At this small CP in the middle of no where which is essentially for the Jubarah residents only there was: an army jeep and about 6 or more soldiers; Machsomwatch women waiting for permission to head toward Ar Ras; the woman from Blue and White being investigated for having come on the security road as she passed out cakes to the soldiers; a Palestinian driver and a passenger on their way to Jubarah told to wait on the side while their IDs were checked; 2 cars and a tractor waiting to leave Jubarra toward Al Ras; and about 10 Palestinian pedestrians who were returning from work in Israel waiting on a very straight and orderly line one behind the other. This all seemed to be beyond what the soldiers knew what to do with.
While we were still waiting for permission, the Blue and White woman was allowed to pass on to Ar Ras to hand out her cakes. After a half hour wait we received permission as well. We felt fortunate that she was already on the way back when we headed toward the CP. However, as we passed her she saw who we were and so she turned around and headed back to the Ar Ras CP. She tried to confront us but we ignored her. She stuck by us where ever we moved and would shout at us things like, "Do you realize that all this land belongs to Israel according to international law?" "Why don't you go to the United States and tell them the land belongs to the Indians?" "I'm going to follow you around sitting right on your veins like you do to the soldiers." Then she started to say to the soldiers, "Don't you want to start up with them? You could have fun. They have a really big heart, especially for the Palestinians, for Jews it is another story."
After about 15 minutes when we saw that things were moving along at Ar Ras—the checking in the direction from Tul Karm took about 30 seconds a vehicle(it took 6 minutes for 18 vehicles to pass through) and the traffic to Tul Karm was being checked randomly—we left. As we left and said good bye to the soldiers the Blue and White woman shouted to the soldiers, "Don't talk to them. You are forbidden by law to talk to them."
(The one very small saving grace of the day was cutting short the wait the driver and passenger on their way to Jubarah had. They had been told to wait before entering Jubarrah, as stated above, because they had no permit for their car although they themselves were residents of Jubarah. When we passed them on our way to Ar Ras,ת Smadar, who speaks Arabic, asked why they were being asked to wait. That's when we heard what their problem was. They asked that we tell the soldiers to please give them back their IDs because they had decided to just turn around and were no longer willing to wait. When Smadar passed the information on to the soldiers, the men got back their IDs and left.)