'Anabta, Qalqiliya, Mon 16.6.08, Morning

Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Email
Osnat R., Frances T (reporting)

06.30 We arrive at the Eliyahu Crossing to see a crowd of Palestinian labourers behind the wire fence crowded together.  No one is going through the check point.  We park the car and go over to find out what is happening.  The Palestinians are being held up by the border police and when we speak to them they tell us that one of the policemen has been manifesting rough behaviour towards them for some time, kicking them and trampling on their food packages.  I go towards the police to try to investigate.  One of the border policemen confronts me and tells me to go back from the crossing and is very aggressive.  At that moment an army jeep turns up and one of the commanders gets out to speak to the workers in Arabic.  We do not understand what is being said.  Finally, the Magad (Benny) introduces himself to us and explains that they are handling the situation.  We maintain that if the offending policeman is still on duty and still coming into contact with the Palestinians, the situation cannot improve.  The policeman is moved away and the labourers start to go through the checkpoint.  The Magad assures us that an investigation will be done.  The DCO, Eran, who circulates in the area and who, in the past, has been very helpful, is also on the scene.  We mention that the labourers complain that they arrive at the crossing at 4 or 4.30 am and the crossing is supposed to be opened at 5.30.  It is often not opened until 6.00.  After the workers have been waiting 2 hours, the delay is problematic.  Eran says he will check.
07.30 we leave the crossing with about 30 Palestinians in line.

07.35 Qalqilya   The checkpost is empty and quiet.  No checks are visible.

07.45 Azoun – the entrance is open.

10.00 Anabta
Lines are forming on the road from Tul Karm.  Buses and taxis are being checked and passengers' ID's are being taken by the soldiers.
We notice a poster on the door of the army booth saying "Thank you Machsom Watch for your cooperation – Signed the Terror Organisations" . 
I call the commander and ask him who put it there.  He mentions the Right-wing women.  When I say that it is offensive and ask if I can remove it, he refuses.  A discussion ensues.  The commander is very set in his outlook and refuses to listen.  In the meantime the line of cars gets longer and one Palestinian is told to get out the taxi and is detained under gunpoint (probably to await the Shabak).
11.05 We leave with about 15 vehicles in line.