'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Sun 20.7.08, Afternoon
In the flawed reality of the heat, the haze and the craziness of
summer in the OPT, we were reminded -- paradoxically – of the
completely flawless voice, tenderness and compassion of Nat King Cole
singing, "Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer…. Dust off
the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer…" Unfortunately, we can
hear that song only in our mind's eye and, instead, must attend to the
everyday life of Palestinians suffering from the yoke of the
Quite a few vehicles exiting from, and entering the checkpoint, at
least two police cars, at least two huts, for more police, and a
narrow obstacle course, which needs to be followed by anyone wishing
to enter the OPT.
Two bemused soldiers with little to do today, but they call over to
Ar-Ras to inform their colleagues that we're on the way!
A Jubara resident, on his way home, tell us the soldiers today are
"good." A tractor, laden with empty water containers wends its way
from Tulkarm, followed by two or three vehicles, all of whose
documents are checked, quickly.
From the south, Qalqiliya direction, vehicles are now made to stand
behind a blue metal barrier, and are beckoned with the customary hand
signal to approach the checking booth. Taxis and other vehicles are
stopped by the soldier at the checkpost as they hang on for dear life
to the precipitous edge of the non existent roadway. The blue
Gaulloise truck, usually seen at Qalqiliya, flashes its lights as the
driver sees MachsomWatch. A truck waits on the side of the road, his
permit has expired.
In the crow's nest, the soldier has his finger on the trigger of his
gun part of the time, aimed, at one point at an enormous cement truck.
At other times, the only sound is of silence and of waves of heat.
The line of 20 vehicles dissipates in no time on our arrival. Out of
Tulkarm, there are about eight vehicles, and they, too, pass quickly.
On the way to Qalqiliya
Opposite the outpost of Shvut Ami, the settler youth are again lolling
under their awning on the western slope, away from the main settlement
Two flags are now flying on the hillside there as well as a large
in-your-face banner, planted alongside the roadway: "We continue to
settle and build our land." As we turn the bend in the road, a Hummer
descends from the white gravel pathway from what at present is again a
Ten vehicles, including a Red Crescent jeep, which bypasses the
others, are not checked but waved on. Israeli licensed cars (yellow
plates) are, however, checked against a list and one pick up truck is
turned back. The DCO representative stands and observes the soldiers,
then gets into his waiting white jeep to leave the heat and the dust