'Azzun 'Atma, Ar-Ram, Thu 10.7.08, Afternoon
We stayed only for a short time at the checkpoint as we received reports of extreme violence at ‘Azzun ‘Atma.
14.45 Beit Iba. About 10 cars waiting to enter Nablus and those are the cars of people who have been lucky enough to get permits to enter which have to be renewed every 2 months and the permits are limited to a certain area. About 30 people wait at the exit and about 20 to enter. The men come out of the checking area with their belts in their hands. Everyone goes through the same humiliating checking, the x-ray device, ID, parcels. A child of about 8 is stopped by a soldier who tells him to open his parcel. The commander who refuses to identify himself decides that we have to move away because we are bothering them. When we refuse and say he can call in the police if he wants to he says he will use physical force and pushes one of us. But we stand firm and he decides to close the checkpoint until we move off even though we inform him that collective punishment is a crime. We move off and then come back to where we had stood previously.
Three students pass and one is given a special check. The girls laugh amongst themselves as if to show that this does not matter and the woman soldier puts the girl into isolation and a soldier stands outside guarding her with his rifle. When the girl comes out after 7 minutes she throws angry looks in all directions and it is obvious that she has been humiliated. "Back , back" …shouting at the Palestinians when they do not manage to make out the invisible lines where they have to stand.
At the exit we meet a group of workers who said that the checkpoint opened today at 06.30 instead of at 05:00 and so they only got to work at 08.00. The boss wanted to know why they had come so late and sent them home. 16.10 At Pundak an army jeep lies in ambush.