'Anabta, 'Azzun, Ar-Ras, Qalqiliya, Wed 29.10.08, Afternoon

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Tami C., Dalia G. Translator Louise L.

14.20  Qalqiliya

There is a flow of cars driving out from Nablus.
At the entrance 25 cars are waiting in line. The reason – an argument with an Israeli Arab who is told to return to Israel. After this incident the traffic keeps moving forwards.
Nadim explains the following regulation to us: A person born in Qalqiliya and married to an Israeli woman and having a blue ID card is registered as “born in Shomron”. He has the right to pass back and forth through the checkpoint. He is permitted to live in Qalqiliya and work in Israel.

14.25 Azzun

Blocked by a heap of earth. There is no traffic in either direction.

16.50 Anabta (after our shift at Beit Iba)

No cars are waiting in line. There are hardly any soldiers at the checkpoint. A policeman stops every car that doesn’t stop at the “stop sign” at the left turn off the road (from Einav) towards the checkpoint. He is very busy.
We ask the soldiers to remove the “Blue and White” sign claiming that we are “terrorist supporters”, but they refuse while threatening to call the police if we don’t leave. They forbid us to take pictures.

16.45 Ar-Ras

There are no cars at all. I walk up to the soldiers. The commander is friendly.
I turn to him asking: “Would you be prepared to suggest your commanders having the road repaired on both sides of the checkpoint, since it is not only narrow, but also full with holes?”
Smiling kindly he answers: “No! It’s on purpose.”
I’m shocked and ask: “Why?”
His answer is- “to prevent vehicles from speeding into the checkpoint area.”
I continue – “so why don’t you dig holes on both sides of the other checkpoint (in the direction of Tulkarm)?”
He starts stammering but seems sure of his answer - “We don’t need it there.”
We told them about the sign and the flag of “Women in Blue and White” hoisted on IDF property at the Anabta road block.
The (friendly) commander’s answer was the he is prepared to put such a flag on his chest. We explained to him that signs with political messages on IDF property are illegal. He disagreed. We told him that his commanders would explain it to him.
His reaction was – “if you tell my commanders they will laugh at you.”
So we were defeated in combat, but maybe we will win the war……
Tami keeps on talking. Such patience! I leave. The soldiers explain that they and the “Women in Blue and White” have the same ideas and that these women love the soldiers, while we are against them.
Tami asks: “Do you feel that we are against you?”
They answer: “No, not you, but your friends. They told one of us that he’s stupid, that he doesn’t use his brains, that he’s brainwashed. You ‘re  aggressive, you know.”
We don’t have the strength to talk about their arguments with other “Machsomwatch” members.
At 17.00 we leave.