Falamiya - Who's using the new e-card?

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Nina and Herzliyya; Translator: Judith Green

Opening Hours: 16:10 - 16:30

This time, we decided to remain after the hours of the soldiers' opening, in hopes of seeing how pedestrians pass through the gate with the electronic card in their hands. The people whom we met (who went through on a tractor and bicycle) said that indeed some people have such a card but, the whole time we were there at the checkpoint, not one pedestrian arrived. Then we finally understood.

It's a nice idea to give people an electronic card to go through the gate outside of the soldiers' opening hours (3 times a day for 20 minutes) - the gate is a small construction with a turnstile for people to go through which can be operated with the electronic card.  But, since the checkpoint is about 4 kilometers distant from the nearby village (Jayyus) it is not really useful for pedestrians nor to those owning a car; even bicycles need to wait for the opening in order to pass through. Also, if one arrives by vehicle from Jayyus to the gate, even after the pedestrian passage one still needs to travel quite far to the orchards of most of the people.

That is to say, there is almost no point in having an electronic card to a place so far from the village. If they are trying an experiment, why not experiment, for example, with the other checkpoint, at Falamiya, the nearby one where the village is at least near the gate?  The Gods of the army have an answer.

We planned to arrive a little before the opening hours of the gate in order to watch the pedestrians going through a little after us when the gate had already opened.  On the way to the gate, we passed a few people walking whom we imagined had passed through the gate - we didn't have a common language with them, despite our weak Arabic...When we arrived, the gate was already open and the soldiers were standing there.  During our presence, tractors and a bicyclist went through.  We spoke with him but didn't learn anything special but reminded us that, a few years earlier, he had met Nina!  He is Bedouin and has no complaints about his life.  He has a house in the area of the separation wall (Arab Ramadin) and Jayyus.

16:20   They closed the gate.  We stayed around for another half hour, waiting to see if anyone who had been late would come and use the electronic card which he had received in order to go out the side gate next to the shed in order to get home.  No one came.  Disappointment!