'Azzun 'Atma, Habla

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Hanna A., Hanna P. (reporting). Translator: Hanna K.
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

05:50 Azzun 'Atma – The queue flows at the moment, there are two active posts, people take their belts off. Soldiers passed us, taking with them two workmen, who had been found near an opening in the fence. We hear the debate: The workmen claim that they had come in order to return to the village. The argument becomes heated, the soldiers phone and the workmen sit and wait. The checkpoint routine… In the meantime the queue increases more and more. At first 20 men and then 40. At this stage we left while the two workmen were still waiting.

06:50 Habla – at the exit we met a workmen who complained that the soldiers open up late, at 06:40 instead of at 06:30.  According to him even 06:30 is too late, as the fruit and vegetables have to be picked early so that they reach the market in a good condition.

There are about 20 men in the queue, but the military policewoman stops the passage each time an argument occurs (and admonishes them). The workmen arrive at the turnstiles in groups of 5 and from there they pass on to be checked. At the moment the checking is performed rather quickly, 2 minutes, the checkpoint routine. Every few minutes there are shouts and the workmen complain that she does not keep the turn. She answers "stop causing me a headache".

A workman with a donkey and a cart arrives and the soldier at the gate waits to receive an authorization from the military policeman. A pink minibus leaves the villages, as well as a tow truck. At 07:20 a minibus with students arrives. The driver goes to be checked, entered with the car and then a soldiers mounts it to check it inside.

A young man with an authorization enters to be checked. The authorization doesn't seem to them in orders. The authorization and his Identity card are taken from him. The military policeman and a soldiers take him behind the wall for workout: he stands facing the wall with hands raised on the wall (just as one checks dangerous criminals). When he moves a bit they immediately order him to return to his position. They leave him in this position for about 20 minutes and then return the authorization and the identity card to him and send him back to the village with a push.

A flock of sheep comes out and the shepherd goes to be checked. A tractor comes out, as well as vans laden with plants, cars and carts. It is five minutes to eight. It's time to intensify the tempo. They increase the size of the incoming groups from 5 to 8. During the last checking round one person was forced to return to the village.