'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Sun 21.12.08, Afternoon

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Ruthie W.-Z., Aliyah S. reporting

Qalqiliya, 13:00
    At least 35 cars were in line to go into
the city, and more were coming all the time. We could see there was a
long line coming out of the city, too. There was no obvious reason for
cars being held up, and as soon as we arrived the line started to move.
Perhaps by chance! The soldiers were reservists. They were civil to all
the drivers going through the checkpoint. One came up to us and was
quite friendly as he asked us some questions about why we were there
and how we view the checkpoints. Another soldier, of higher rank,
joined him in the conversation. We asked him why there was such a long
line of cars and he just shrugged his shoulders and said, "It happens
Anabta, 15:00
    There wasn't a long line going into
Tulkarm, or coming out of the city. These soldiers also were
reservists. On the side of the road leading out of the city a private
car had been stopped and the 3 passengers, young men, were standing
futher to the side. A soldier with his rifle trained on them was
standing guard. A young woman dog-soldier was checking the car
thoroughly, and then they were permitted to continue on their way. Two
minutes later the dog-soldier asked the soldier at the checking booth
to stop a taxi. The driver had to park at the side of the road and all
the 7 passengers got out, stood at the side, and were guarded. They
also had to remove all their bags of food, etc., from the taxi. The dog
then went in and checked all the seats and the back thoroughly, while
the passengers' ID cards were checked. Then they too went on their way.
While she was checking one car or taxi many others went through the
checkpoint. It seemed to us that the dog-soldier was stopping cars at
random, that it was a spot check.
Jubara  15:40
    Again the soldiers were reservists, polite
to us even though it took a bit until they understood who we were and
that we wanted the gate into Jubarra opened. They did that quickly.
Ar-Ras  15:50
    As we approached the checkpoint we noticed
that a large barrel and a large cement block, both painted white, had
been placed on the road at either side leaving enough room for one car
to go through. Perhaps they wanted to slow the traffic. Here too there
were reservists. They were friendly to us and polite. They stopped a
car coming from Tulkarm, had the passengers get out, checked the
inside of the car and the baggage compartment, and then let them go on
their way. Here too, there didn't seem to be any system for choosing
which car to stop, but we didn't discuss this with anyone, and they
were polite to those whom they stopped.
    When we returned to the gate to Jubara, we waited less than 4 minutes for someone to open the gate for us.