'Azzun 'Atma, Habla

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Nura R., Chana P. (reporting) Translator: Charles K.


05:50  Azzun Atma/”Fabric of life” gate

On the way we saw a police car parked next to a hole in the fence near the checkpoint.  People who’d crossed through the checkpoint warm themselves around a fire.


When we arrived at the checkpoint its commander, a sergeant, approached us demanding we leave the checkpoint area.  We told him our job is to see what goes on within the area of the checkpoint.  He said, “I don’t care, and I’d rather not say what I think of you.”


About 100 people at the checkpoint; the line isn’t getting shorter.


We asked a female soldier for the bathroom; the checkpoint commander jumped in to tell us to go to the houses of our Palestinian friends.  The commander was extremely and demonstratively hostile during the entire time we were there, and even threatened to call the police because we didn’t obey him, but instead remained standing where we could see what was happening at the checkpoint.


A military vehicle entered through the checkpoint gate, apparently on its way to the other end of the village.


Suddenly inspections stopped.  Nora moved from where she stood and the commander began screaming at her that she’s not allowed to move.


07:00  Habla/Agricultural gate 1393

The gate already opened at 06:30; the line is short; people arrive and immediately enter for inspection.   Horse carts come through.  The school buses didn’t arrive.  It turns out the teachers are on strike.


We didn’t know why the line was short, though there had been hints during our last visit.  We tried to find out at the plant nursery.  We were told that some people with permits to work their land had used them to enter Israel.  That made the line longer, caused disorder on the line and made the laborers late for their jobs.  The employers complained to the DCO.  The IDF established an additional, mobile checkpoint beyond the agricultural area and confiscated the permits.


We were told about another group of people called “kor’anim” (they’re said to resemble gypsies) who travel by horse cart and steal from Arab and Jewish localities.