'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 24.9.13, Morning

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Petahya, Nurit P., Pitzi (reporting) Translator: Charles K.

Central West Bank,

14:00   The Habla gate is open.  No one around.  Apparently everyone who wanted to leave has already done so.  Nor is anyone entering Habla.  It’s quiet.


Many Israelis shopping in Nabi Elias.  What will happen to those shops when the road is moved?


14:30  A military Hummer parked opposite Azzun, observing the entrance to the village.


15:00  Huwwara checkpoint.  A pretty long line of Palestinian cars headed toward Nablus.  The checkpoint is manned but there are no inspections.  It turns out that the congestion is due to the number of vehicles.  Just a traffic jam…


The Beit Furiq checkpoint is deserted.  Everything appears quiet and pastoral.  Many sea squills blossoming.  The evil isn’t visible through this glorious landscape.


Many Israeli vehicles in Huwwara, civilian as well as military, though the latter drive quickly along the main road which has become one large mall.


H. approaches us in the kanafe shop – he’s a young Palestine who speaks Hebrew fluently and has worked there for a long time.  He tells us that whenever he travels from his village to his workplace in Huwwara he’s stopped by police, made to get out of the taxi and detained for a few hours.  He’s then released.  That’s been going on for a long time.  When he asked them the reason for the harassment they told him that they’ll stop if he agrees to collaborate.  He refused and the harassment continues. 


When he was little, during the intifada, he was arrested for participating in demonstrations.  He was then blacklisted by the Shabak, until 2028 (!!!).  He showed us the document confirming what he said.  We have a copy.


Can anyone do anything?  Pitzi has all the information.


Tapuach junction is manned but there are no inspections or dogs.


Light traffic at Azzun Atma.  A few returning laborers tell us it’s because there’s not a lot of work in the settlements during the intermediate days of Sukkot, and the exit through Beit Amin has been blocked because that’s where the soldier’s killer lived.  Laborers from the village can’t leave to go to work.  The soldiers at the checkpoint look at us, even take photographs, but don’t prevent us from talking to the Palestinians.


Soldiers are stationed at the many holes in the fence along the road from the Oranit terminal to Azzun Atma.  They’ve improvised emplacement; we didn’t see any attempts to repair the holes, even though they’re very big.


Much congestion in the lane for Palestinians through the Eliyahu crossing.  Rigorous inspections.  We weren’t asked where we were coming from, went through easily and then home.  To another world.