'Azzun 'Atma, Eliyahu Crossing, Huwwara, Ras 'Atiya, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 27.4.10, Morning

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Nataly C, Ruthi R.

Translation: Galia S.

Azzun Atme checkpoint
07:15 – As I leave the car, I have an uneasy feeling: I am about to watch people in degrading circumstances. They will be standing in front of me and I'll be watching them against their will. Intrusive, but also lucky not to be in the same trouble, I haven't come to terms with this issue yet.

In the post made of concrete blocks, left of the room, there are four soldiers with weapons, helmets and bullet-proof vests. About twenty men are waiting to leave the village. The line is 3 meters away from the registration room, and two posts are operating. The line is so orderly that only when the post is freed, does the next in line come forward and shows his documents.

The passage is quick and the soldiers don't check food bags today. The reason for this efficiency soon becomes clear: the computer is out of order! So what they do is copy the names of the leaving people from the documents they have and this is definitely much quicker!

According to the people leaving, yesterday afternoon the entry was very much delayed – over 2 hours. Hundreds of people were waiting on the road outside with only one very slow person to do the checking.

I give them our phone number, so we can help and talk to the "DCO" in case such a thing happens. ["DCO" – District Coordination Office of the IDF Civil Administration that handles passage permits].

Za'tara checkpoint
08:00 – When we arrive, the place is empty of cars. Six soldiers man the two lanes for the cars that come from the direction of Nablus. Cars that go toward Nablus are not checked. There are soldiers also in the watch tower and in the big parking area there is a dog trainer with a dog.

Before we have time to enjoy the quiet, they start checking every single car in one of the lanes, which results in a line of 18 cars within a minute. Minutes later they stop checking documents and cars just pass slowly through the checkpoint.

08:10 – A military jeep is near the quarry in the village. In the junction facing Yizhar there are two soldiers in a post of concrete blocks.

Huwwara checkpoint
08:30 – The Border Police soldiers are at the entrance to Nablus and five soldiers are at the exit (including a dog trainer).

In the parking lot at the entrance to Nablus, there are 6 cars that were detained 10 days ago in a police operation to locate stolen vehicles. They are here gathering dust and waiting for ownership proof. Two Palestinians who arrived to pick up their cars are near the parking lot. They have brought permits and licences and another document signed by a notary and are now waiting for the policeman to come and release their vehicles.

09:15 – A jeep is at the entrance to Yizhar.

09:25 – A civilian military vehicle is busy giving tickets in Funduq

09:35 – A jeep is at the entrance to Azzun.

09:40 – In Nabi I'lyas there are two military jeeps with a small truck. What are they doing here?

09:45 – At Eliyahu Gate checkpoint there are no waiting cars and no pedestrians.

Ras 'Atiya
10:15 – The new checkpoint isn't active yet. There is some activity at the old checkpoint and once in a while a car or a pedestrian, a pupil, a student passes there.

At this hour it is very quiet here.

10:30 – We leave.

No special delays and only random checks on entering and leaving Nablus.