'Azzun 'Atma, Burin (Yitzhar), Habla, Huwwara, Kifl Harith

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Vivi K. (a new member), Naomi Bentsur (reporting), Nadim (driving), Translator: Charles K.
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

 Habla, Burin, Huwwara, Kifl Haris, ‘Azzun ‘Atma


13:30  We left from the Rosh Ha’ayin train station.

Nadim had been told about an attack by soldiers on pupils in a school in Burin, a village that had often been attacked by settlers from Yitzhar.   We decided to alter our planned route and visit Burin.  We stopped at the Habla agricultural gate on the way.  13:45. The gate is wide open.  It closes in fifteen minutes.  One vehicle and one person arrive and go through with no problems.


We drive on Highway 55.  There are many military and police personnel all along the way: many jeeps and command summonses.  This time they confronted a driver who began to argue with them, and hit him.  Two jeeps approach the location of the incident, reinforcements for the police officers, lest something happen to them.


There was additional military presence at Tapuach junction as well:  a jeep and police vehicle at the hitchhiking station to the Jordan Valley and about ten soldiers in the parking lot.  We drive on Highway 5 and reach Kifl Haris.  The village is calm, little children are running in the street.  The tomb of Caleb ben-Yefuneh is deserted.  We enter.  On the walls the village youths had painted, a few months earlier, slogans in Hebrew – blessings of various and sundry rabbis, the work of Breslav hassidim who occasionally hold celebrations there in the wee hours, waking the villagers and throwing rocks at their homes.


15:30  ‘Azzun ‘Atma checkpoint.  Few people are crossing; their number slowly increases.  A pleasant soldier stands at the gate and motions to them invitingly to enter, with a “Please” in Arabic.  And, in fact, the line proceeds calmly.  It seems it’s also possible to behave differently.  Next to the guard tower – a drama occurs.  The door won’t open.  An emergency vehicle arrives, its occupants raise a long ladder to the opening at the top of the tower.  One by one the soldiers try to climb the ladder and squirm in through the opening, and are unsuccessful.  Finally a particularly athletic soldier is able to leave the ladder, grasp the lintel, push himself in with considerable effort and open the door from within.  The onlookers, soldiers as well as Palestinians, applaud in approval.  A brief human moment - the line dividing occupier and occupied is blurred.


16:15  Back to Rosh Ha’ayin.