'Azzun, Habla, Ras 'Atiya, Mon 10.5.10, Morning

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Shoshana Z., Nina S. (reporting)

Chana S. translating

 General comment: 
The Palestinians at Ras 'Atiya say that tomorrow night the new checkpoint at Alfei Menashe will open. Please take note.  We did not see any final preparations, just a large gate placed next to a steep descent on the road without place for cars to stop.
 6.45    Hablah. 
The gate was open and people were passing through.  It had opened – unbelievably early! – at 6.40.   One pedestrian who had a walkman had to lift his shirt for checking.   Passage at usual pace.

7.05    Ras 'Atiya 
On the way we saw many workers in the direction of Alfei Menashe.  Few people in lines in both directions. A trash car waits for its worker who has been stuck for quarter of an hour at the checkpoint and returned to Ras a-Taiah.  His permit expired today and he has to go to the DCO. 
It is unclear how the driver will manage on his own but he drove on to Ras'Atiya.

Another man is sent back.  His record does not show that last time he returned to Ras'Atiya, so now he is sent as punishment to the DCO to renew his permit.  In the past they would do this only on the third occurrence; now it seems they are punished the first time.  One of the problems is that the Palestinians cannot see if the soldiers are entering correctly their numbers into the computer and thus check for mistakes (which occur regularly, according to the Palestinians). Passage is very slow for women teachers, taking 8 minutes

8.00        Entrance to Azzun, next to Izvat Tabib.  A police jeep with border police and a soldier.  All cars exiting Azzun stop and travellers’ i.d.’s are checked by computer.  A pedestrian is also checked.  As only one person works the computer, it takes 5 to 10 minutes per car.  The gate to Azzun is open, as well as the main exit to the road but, opposite, there is a jeep observing. 8.20      Funduq.  A Border Police jeep at the entrance to the village, checking documents of a car. 
Other cars are not stopped.
 8.25   Shvut Ami.  
Once again there are stones across the road, preventing passage of cars.  We did not see any people.