'Azzun 'Atma, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Sun 22.9.13, Morning

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Nina S., Dina A.(reporting), Translator: Judith Green


'Azzun 'Atma is locked, there is no through passage from the West Bank, so there is also almost no exit of workers.  Also, school children from Beit Amin, studying in 'Azzun 'Atma (we are told about 80 children) weren't able to get to school today because of the closed checkpoint. Documents of  children, who are taken off the school bus, were inspected; even one child around 10 years old and doesn't yet have an ID is checked.

06:10 checkpoint of 'Azzun 'Atma

There is no one here, and very few waiting outside, which is most surprising since it is Sunday when there is generally a lot of crowding of the regular people who go through and those who go out for the whole week.  Today it is empty,and it is clear that this is because of the incident yesterday (the killing of an Israeli by a Palestinian).


According to the Palestinians, the gate to 'Azzun 'Atma on the north (in the whole West Bank, the only gate) was closed;  there is no crossing to 'Azzun 'Atma for anyone coming from outside and go through its gatesinfo-icon on the way to Israel.  The soldiers claim that anyone who has a permit can enter 'Azzun 'Atma and go out there;  they think there are no workers because of Hol HaMo'ed Sukkot, but the fact is that there is simply no way of crossing and going to work in Israel as people do every Sunday.


There are 7 detaineesinfo-icon next to the checkpoint - they were caught in Israel (illegal workers) and brought to the checkpoint by the police and are now waiting;  they say they were caught at about midnight in the Tel Aviv area.  They are detained for 3 hours and then released, according to the soldiers.


06:50  Habla checkpoint

The  Agricultural gate opened for 2 hours in the morning and one hour in the evening.

Everything seems normal here. There was  a heavy  rainfall as seen by the  big puddles and a permanent puddle within the container, which is supposed to provide protection from the rain but leaks.

The gate, according to those crossing, opened on time.  Today, for the first time, we saw a man with an electric scooter- some progress!  The passage is very fast.  From this one can understands that the closing at 'Azzun 'Atma is as  punishment and there is no general closureinfo-icon.  A truck arrives from the Israeli side and goes through - it carries vegetables, picked on the seam line, and is bringing them to the market in Nablus.  A van comes from Habla, so there is movement across the seam.


07:10  the line disappears


07:15  A girls' school bus goes through quickly.  A little later, another bus arrives, 4 boys who must be over 16 are taken off for checking their IDs at the checkpoint.  The soldiers check the bus and take off another boy for inspection, about 10 yrs old.  The children wait, the bus waits for them on the side.  It doesn't seem as though the soldiers care about checking the children quickly, so they won't be late for school.


Eliyahu Gate- open all the time for crossing from the West Bank into Israel and used by Israelis and Palestinians with permits  for the seam areainfo-icon.  7 cars await inspection.