'Anabta, Ar-Ras, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Wed 4.3.09, Afternoon

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Sara P., Hamdan, our nice driver, Tami C.

Translation: Galia S.

We go out on a beautiful, sunny day. The air is clear and fresh after the storm and the continuous, extremely needed rain. Hearing on the news that there is one checkpoint less in the area we observe, makes us hopeful.

14:15 – We reach the Figs Passage and turn to Jubara. The locked gate is opened by the soldier right away. (Hamdan has told us that the day before the MachsomWatch shift, for different reasons, was prevented from entering.)

The village is having an afternoon nap and we are heading for the Schoolchildren's Gate, where 2 soldiers seem surprised by our arrival. After a short talk and a check of documents, we are told that we are not allowed to go to Farm 8 (Ar-Ras checkpoint). From the hilltop we can already see that very little is left of the checkpoint, which is also supposed to be removed from the site, and where 2 soldiers are sitting and waiting for those who have to clear the site. After a short discussion, we get permission to get closer to what used to be Ar-Ras checkpoint. Sara tries to take a picture of what is left.

It's worth paying attention to the fact that the road on both sides is still in disrepair and it seems to be waiting for the end of the occupation to bring salvation.

A man from Far'un, waiting for his wife (who is from Jubara), tells us that the equipment that was at the checkpoint was thrown under the bridge (the overpass above Ar-Ras – Tulkarm road). He thinks they may set up the new checkpoint there. On our way to Anabta on the same road we stop to look for the discarded equipment, go around the "bridge" but see nothing. (Since we have no access to this place, we ask Micky to find out from her connections whether a new checkpoint (?) is built there).


14:50 – The answer to closing out Ar-Ras checkpoint may be found here. After exposing what was done in Anabta last week (we sent pictures on the net of the destruction and vandalism, and although we were told that the trees were replanted, we were unable to discover where. A security problem?) It looks as if they intend to widen the road and set up a new checkpoint there (who is responsible for the architecture is unknown).

A short talk to the soldiers and the DCO [District Coordination Office of the IDF Civil Administration that handles passage permits] doesn't clear the picture and no one seems to know anything. The bulldozer goes on working.


17:00 – The traffic out is flowing but at the entrance it's stop and go. There are 15 cars in line at the entrance to the city. Waiting time is a few minutes.