'Anata, 'Atara, Jaba (Lil), Qalandiya, יום ג' 14.4.09, אחה"צ

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Yael I.,Ilana D.(reporting)


From 1:00 till 4:00 PM

Atara, Leel, Qalandia and Anata

A hot day. Since this was the eve of the holiday and there was a curfew we decided to find out whether this also affects the traffic in Atara. We were MOST surprised to find the CP deserted and therefore all cars passed freely in both directions. We remained to observe and spotted a soldier in the pillbox. The landscape was beautiful and everything was still very green, the ugliness of the CP, which looked as if it was made on purpose as unaesthetic as possible, stuck out. After about fifteen minutes five soldiers emerged from behind the bend and smilingly approached us. One of them joked that we had just missed how they had beaten up a Palestinian another one admitted that he was a leftist, but still thought the checkpoints were necessary.  They told us that this checkpoint is constantly manned, but if it is left alone for a short while it is only to ‘deceive the enemy'.  We watched how they worked and it struck us how polite they behaved towards the Palestinians - when they wanted to check the trunk of one of the cars, they opened it themselves and didn't ask the driver to do it. The papers of the passengers of one yellow transit were checked, but within five minutes he was sent on his way. We left and found out that these soldiers were in the reserves - we told them that they were nice.

At the Leel CP traffic flowed, but there was a traffic jam from the other direction not connected with the CP. In Qalandia we waited in line almost fifteen minutes. The buses went through much faster, but everyone had to get off to pass the terminal on foot. A car in front of us was checked out by a dog, the soldiers joked with the dog-trainer which made the wait a little longer, but nothing was found and we were whisked through without any inspection of Id's.

There were lots of cars coming in and out of Anata - the market looked very colorful, in addition to Border Police there were also Military Police soldiers manning the checkpoint. One of them asked us what we were doing as Jerusalemites in this God-forsaken hole - he had no idea re Machsom Watch, but didn't check our Id's .