'Azzun, 'Azzun 'Atma, Habla, Haris, Kifl Harith, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 3.10.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
We spent most of the time driving through the villages, to show our guests the occupation – on the hilltops, the main junctions, in the Palestinian villages.
11:00 – We began at the southern Azzun Atma checkpoint, where no laborers are crossing at this hour. Like the checkpoints in general, this is also undergoing constant alterations “for the good of” the occupied population forced to cross through it. Sidewalks being laid, canopies erected…
We continued on Highway 5 toward Za’tara. Our guests saw the elevated road restricted to Jews, over the road from Zawiyya to Maskha. Farther on, outposts clinging to the hilltops above Brukin and Kufr a-Dik, biting into the locals’ lands; the Barkan industrial zone continually expanding and, of course, Ariel – the metropolis – a very long, narrow strip stretching to the horizons. We pointed out the guard towers and the metal bars permanently installed at the entrances to the roads leading to Palestinian villages. If the army wishes, the road can easily be blocked. We reached Za’tara, where there’s a flourishing kiosk belonging to the settlers; there are emplacements at each entry/exit of this central road junction. The one overlooking the turn to Highway 505 was manned. We saw no Palestinian cars detained.
We returned to Highway 5, through Kifl Hars, Hars, Bidiya, Maskha, to Hani’s house, penned in next to the settlement of Elkana. Having no way out, the conquered one has developed a sense of humor. So he’s written “The State of Hani” on the wall.
We drove through Kafr Thult and Azzun to Highway 55. It’s afternoon; the streets are filled with children returning from school.
13:15 Habla. A few people wait to enter Habla. They crossed a few minutes after we arrived. People go through in groups of five, “as usual.” A man leaving Habla gets stuck in the revolving gate and must wait for “the finger of God” to release him.
Our guests wonder why there’s a checkpoint separating people from their property (plant nurseries, agricultural land…). Who can explain the occupation’s logic…
13:35 – The school buses from ‘Arab al-Ramadin arrive. Here’s some more “logic” to explain – that young children must wait every day, twice, for an armed soldiers to come into the bus.
13:43 - The boys’ bus goes through.
13:51 – The girls’ bus goes through.
The only creatures thatshow any independence and refuse to obey blindly are the sheep whose owner tries to bring them through the checkpoint. Eventually they do what he wants.
14:06 – No more people are waiting. We left.