'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Habla, Huwwara, Tue 25.12.12, Afternoon

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Petahya A., Riba B. (reporting) Translator: Charles K.

13:40 Habla agricultural gate. The gate is open. Not many people crossing. It turns out that the gate is open in the afternoon only from 17:00 to 17:30!! People complained about it last week so we called Tedesa at the DCO. We told him of the complaints, and that half an hour in the afternoon isn’t enough time. While we were speaking to him the owner of one of the plant nurseries arrived to complain, and since Tedesa said that none of the locals had complained – we gave him the phone. Unfortunately, “there weren’t any complaints,” because the owner of the plant nursery preferred to say that everything was fine (every subject knows the lord is always right) – you can’t blame him.


On the way to Huwwara there are no road signs identifying large, significant Palestinian localities along the road (Nabi Elias, Funduq, Kafr Imtan, etc.). That could be a good project for “Combatants for Peace” – to erect signs at the entrance to those localities. Who’s in contact with them?


14:40 Huwwara checkpoint. Manned by soldiers and MP’s. They inspect every vehicle and there’s a fairly long line (more than 12 cars). One car was delayed longer than others while we were there. A soldier makes a call about that car; we learned later it was missing a license plate. But in the meantime that allowed some cars to cross without inspection. An additional vehicle arrives – a passenger in the back seat has to get out, is questioned and a few minutes later gets back in and the vehicle drives on. A military ambulance stands near the checkpoint.


15:40 Awarta (Tapuach) junction. We counted 21 cars waiting. They’re inspected one by one.


Driving west, next to the road to the west of the center of Ariel are various tractors and some temporary buildings. Does anyone know what’s going on there??


16:05 Azzun Atma. About 40 people on line when we arrive. All stand beneath the new, covered crossing. Only two booths are open. The soldier we ask about opening an additional booth says there are only two MP’s and four soldiers for security. The soldiers are religious but polite, those crossing are tired but obedient…


We learned a relatively new term, “00”. They say, “00, come here.” It turns out that workers in quarries, recognized factories and people who live on the other side of the road don’t have to go to the booth; they just have to show the soldier their permit. The permit is timed: from 05:00 to 17:00; some are valid from 12:00 to 24:00