'Azzun, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Kufr Jammal

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Hagar Zemer, Naomi Bentsur (reporting), Nadim (driving). Translator: Charles K.

09:30  We left from the Rosh Ha’ayin train station.


‘Azzun – the checkpoint is open;  we don’t see the army jeep for a change.


10:00  Kafr Jamal.  We came with information for A., a young man who, despite his permit, has for over two months now been refused entry whenever he tries to go through the Falamiya checkpoint.  Sylvia determined he’s been blacklisted by the Shabak.  No one bothered to notify him, or tell him why.  His case is complicated because he has no employer to request a permit on his behalf – he works land belonging to the family outside of the village.

We spoke to the family – five family members received crossing permits last year; only one remains.  The other four permits were withdrawn with no explanation.  As a result only one lucky member of the family can work the land; no one questions the family owns it.  There’s no way, they say, he can do all the necessary work by himself.  The certain result will be a reduced harvest and a smaller income.

We take a number of actions and hope they’ll result in cancelling the blacklisting.


So – if we received the impression on previous visits to the village, based on what the residents told us, that things in general were good - the army doesn’t show up, their neighbors in the Sla’it settlement are good people and don’t harass them – it turns out the occupying army’s long arm doesn’t neglect the residents of a peaceful village who have never been accused of any “subversive” activities, and will violate their elementary rights.


We drive through ‘Azzun on the way to Habla.  The checkpoint is, in fact, open, and the jeep and soldiers, who apparently messed up this morning and arrived late, are now lounging at their regular spot under the shade tree at the village entrance.


An armored military vehicle drives east through the Eliyahu crossing, toward the West Bank.


12:50  Opposite the Habla agricultural gate.  Three horse carts, one tractor, a truck and some 15 men and two women wait for the gate to open.  As 13:00, the hour the gate should open, approaches, tension rises.  Now, when it’s already 13:10 and there’s still no movement people lose patience and we go over to a group of soldiers to find out when they’ll open the gate.  The answer:  “At 1:15.”  Why can’t they open on time?  “Because there’s a new schedule.”  Since when?   “From today.”  According to new instructions the gate will be open every afternoon from 1:15 to 2:15.  The gate does, in fact, open at 1:15 exactly and the people and vehicles cross without problems.   But why weren’t people notified of the change?  “There wasn’t time to let them know.”  What insensitivity.


13:30  Back to Rosh Ha’ayin.