'Azzun 'Atma, Sun 20.7.08, Morning

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A. H., Edna K., Natanya translating


The murder of seller of lands and in the footsteps of this murder the mother of the murdered man looks for a new wife for her husband.

At 5.30 we got to the stone checkpoint which closes the exit from the direction of Azun Atma in the direction of Shaarei Tikva and Elkana. Last week we waited about 20 minutes before could find a taxi which would take us to the checkpoint at this early hour.  This time we learned through Hagar the bad road with which to enter the village and did so. When we got to the checkpoint it was dark and our eyes were also darkened by the sight of the line which stretched as far as the house of Amin.

We got there at 5:15 and at 6:15 the line was almost emptied. Those in line and also the makeshift taxi drivers  told of the lines each Sunday when we are not present. The violent atmostphere was present the entire time. There is no doubt that our presence mitigated this very very much. 

The soldiers received us as if they were receiving their long lost mother. All smiles. Because of these smiles we dared to ask why they did not open a line for a quick search. I. the commander said that this was exactly what he had been going to do. He went to the long line and said that he was going to start passing people through at the side and if anyone dared to step down from the pavement or make problems he would stop the line. Of course there was a commotion and of course he stopped the checking. Not clear why but after a punishment of 5 minutes he renewed the checking , he and a smiling woman soldier to help him .  Those standing in line looked with envious eyes at those passing so swiftly. One by one they tried to steal  from the long line which had to pass through the x-ray machines and to the line of I. and every now and again he would shout that they were making problems and should get themselves into order as they were bothering the passage of cars. 

Suddenly the shout of one of the female soldiers was heard "What are you doing, you stinking animals." The stinking animals were workers who were pusing one another at the turnstile. The commander went up to her and together they threatened and asked them not to break it down.  Now and again the platoon commander came out from the booth and said that he would close the checkpoint unless they all moved back because they were breaking the turnstile down.

The Palestinians were glad that we had come.  They said that only because we were there had the side lane which so speeded up the procedure been opened. I went to stand next to the soldier who had shouted "stinking animals". When she is not busy shouting at the people she is a sweet blond girl. A babyinfo-icon face rather like a younger Michal Yanai. It is hard to believe that this is the same person of 10 minutes before who was so aggressive and threatening.

While I was speaking to her a communication came over that the settlements were asking that the workers from Etz Ephraim and Elkana  not be delayed. I. the commander went to the line and quickly sent through the workers to the settlements.

A man of about 24 who did not have an ID asked to go through for 10 minutes to his hothouses. He pleads with the commander who allows him to do so, takes his ID and goes to open the taps of the hothouses.  Half an hour after he had left the commander begins to shout into the air "His mother's stinking cunt. All the Arabs are liars and deceivers." We went to see and found that the ID was truly a bit forged. The commander said that he would not leave the shift until the man came back and that he would then send for the police.

As there were hardly any people left in line we left but not before we had taken leave of the soldiers and dared to praise the commander for his efforts to send people through quickly.