'Azzun 'Atma, Habla

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


06:30  Habla.  The morning is hot.

In five minutes the gate opens and the first group of five enters, but from the start we heard complaints about how slow it’s going.  The line becomes disorderly, the MP yells and screams and she closes the entrance.  As a result, the line grows.  During the entire time we were there additional people continued to arrive so that even though people crossed the line of those waiting to enter didn’t seem to grow shorter until just before closing time.


Two minibuses with schoolteachers crossed between 07:00 and 07:10 to the school in ‘Arab al Ramadin.  At 07:20 we saw a school bus transporting pupils in upper grades to Habla.


08:05  Checkpoints 1447-1448, ‘Azzun ‘Atma

People begin coming through the gate.  They show their ID and permit to the soldiers, then pass the booth with the MP to whom they recite their ID number.


We parked beyond the security road, near the gate.  When we leaned against the military vehicle to take advantage of its shade a soldier told us to move away from it.  After a while the MP began yelling at us that GOC orders forbid us to stand there.  We said that at the entrance to the security road is a sign announcing that anyone entering does so on their own responsibility.  They told us they’d call the police and will stop inspections if we don’t move.  At the same time the soldiers claimed they’d stopped inspecting because of vehicles arriving to transport farmers to their lands far from the gate, past Oranit.  People standing at the gate are angry, arguing with the soldiers.  Meanwhile a Border Police officer arrived and asked for our IDs (which he recorded on a piece of paper) and ordered us to leave.  He told us we could observe from Oranit; to stand any other location is illegal.  The soldiers claimed that when we show up the laborers become stressed and combative, and it would be better if we stood farther away, “They see you’ve come and start making problems”…