'Anabta, 'Azzun, Jubara (Kafriat), Qalqiliya, Tue 24.3.09, Afternoon

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Yael S., Zahava G. (Reporting)

Translation: Bracha B.A.

14:30   Soldiers at the children’s gate are bored.  There is no traffic.  They report that farmers pass through to work their fields.  According to them, there is still a population of 300 people in the village.  We look out towards what was previously the A-Ras Checkpoint.  The soldiers tell us that tomorrow (March 25th) their checkpoint will also be closed.
All people coming and going from Jubara will pass through the “Te’enah” gate.  Until then the soldiers are free to enjoy the view.
On our way back we saw a chair standing in the middle of the road and an old man standing next to it and signaled to us.  We stopped and to our embarrassment we didn’t know how to speak to him in Arabic.  He opened his mouth and showed us his rotten teeth and we thought that he wanted money.  He refused to accept money and we then understood that he wanted a ride to the dentist.  We decided that he was planning on going to Tul Karem.  We drove him to the Anabta checkpoint and transferred him to a taxi.

15:00  A long line of cars extends beyond the crossroads.  The line begins to move quickly when no cars are stopped or checked.  The traffic from the direction of Tul Karem is slower.  Occasionally cars are checked at random.  The longest lines are created when trucks or cars with goods are stopped.  The emphasis is on checking goods.

Qalqilya Checkpoint “Hechaviyot” (The barrels)
15:20  There is an armored military vehicle standing at the entrance to road 60.   The checkpoint stands further on in the direction of Beit Iba after passing to the right of a large wall of barrels.  If they adhere to IDF tradition, it will become a large checkpoint in which millions of shekels are invested and will then be closed like Beit Iba.
There is no arrangement for pedestrians to pass through.  Cars are randomly checked.  The soldiers, two of whom introduce themselves as residents of Kiryat Shmonah, strongly believe in our ownership of the entire land for religious reasons.   When we point out to them that there are other people living on the same land, they claim that the Palestinians are foreign invaders without any right to live here.  They remind us gain and again about the massacre of the Jews in Hebron in 1929 but they don’t respond when we remind them about Baruch Goldstein.
Their attitude towards the Palestinians is extremely patronizing, and they scorn their way of life that is limited to working and sleeping.  We tried to arouse some empathy regarding the daily life of a family man who has to get up at 3:00 AM in order to reach the Israeli border at 6:00 to find a job at hard physical labor for a meager salary and then stand in line at checkpoints on his way home.  We called their attention to the source of power – the rifles that they hold – against the helplessness of the Palestinian who has to get to a doctor or even to visit family.  They listened to us, but whether we made an impression or not we’ll never know. On the way west near Azun the main entrance to the city is still closed.  The roadblock has become green and filled with flowers.  The western entrance is open.

16:15 – Taxi drivers in the parking lot told us there were two people being detained.  We found two people handcuffed with their eyes covered.  They were being held in the tent at the army base and we were not allowed to go in to see them or to speak to them.
The checkpoint commander told us that the two had arrived in a car, but when one of them was discovered to be on the wanted list he tried to run away.  According to him, his soldiers arrested one of them and the police found the other.  They have already been detained for an hour and the soldiers are waiting for instructions from the General Security Services.

We called the Liaison and Coordination Administration.  They promised to check what was going on.  ON our way back we called again and are given the same answer.