'Atara, Qalandiya, Sun 9.11.08, Afternoon

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Mika G.(taking photoes) Tamar F (reporting and taking photoes)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Silwad 3:15 Silwad 3:15 From the right hand side of route 60 on the way that leads north, a
bit after the turn to Ofrah, we noted a line of vehicles that was slowly curling
around like a serpent until it disappeared from sight.  We left our car and went
by foot in the direction of the fence which blocks the village of Silwad and
prevents its residents from reaching the fast road.  A transit driver noticed us
and directed us to a hole in the fence and told us that at the entrance to
Silwad, at the end of the line of cars, we would be able to find the
checkpoint.  We wove between the fences, climbed on some rocks and felt like
original pioneers who called out "We've found water".  We announced "We found
the checkpoint".   However, this checkpoint was blocked to Palestinians alone. 
The definitiono is not what is important.  The daily reality requires that after
returning from a long day's work, one is delayed for a long time and without
justification or reason, must show licences, allow armed strangers to go through
their personal belongings, to answer harrassing questions from soldiers such as
"where are you traveling " or "What is the situation".  To destroy their car
engines by forcing them to wait for long times on the inclines of a hill that
leads to a blockade and in addition, to butter up to soldiers so that they will
not think them to be impudent and slap on them "educational" punishments.  The
soldiers from the Kfir division who did not exchange many words with us except
to say that from time to time, they set up this blockage.  A driver who was on
his way back to Ramallah passed until the rapid road.  He told us that on the
same day, he had to wait a full hour to get into Silwad.  We counted 30 cars

תור אינסופי בסילואד

3:35  When we were on our way back, we saw 3 soldiers fold up
the blockade and put it on their backs and disappeared into the pillbox that
stands on the nearby hill and all the cars pass through without interference.

3:50 Atara checkpoint

  The commander of the checkpoint hurried
toward us, demanded that we move our car from the place where we always park it
and asked that we not turn it around at the checkpoint.  We did as he

The soldiers at the checkpoint were very efficient and we did
not detect any unusual harrassment but it appeared that there was a total lack
of coordination in their activity.  They concentrated on checking vehicles
coming from only one of the four directions and when a long line developed in
the other lanes, they then let through all the cars with no check and then
concentrated on cars coming from another side.  In the check of transits, they
required that all the passengers get out and stand nicely in an orderly row on
the side of the checkpoint.  From other watches one could deduce that this is
the set procedure here.  A photographer did not stop filming us.  When we left
the place, one of the soldiers turned to us and said, "As a general rule, when
you are here, it takes the Arabs three times longer to cross".  To our
question as how he explains that, he had no reply.

כרזה בירידה מעטרה לכביש 6

Qalandiya checkpoint 5:00 p.m.  Filth and garbage rule the
place.  What happened to the "exemplary" terminal and to the cages for people
that have been erected at its  entry whose brilliance is dimmed and all
that remains is garbage piled up in every corner.