'Azzun 'Atma, Sun 24.8.08, Morning
5:45 Azun Atma
About 100 people or more waiting and say that they have been there since 3.00 am. 5-6 cars waiting to enter the village and the commander and another soldier check. No cars leaving the village. The checking is slow, about 11 minutes. At 6,00 those waiting become impatient and one of them gets up but we could not understand what he was shouting at the people. Later we understand that they are fighting about their places in line and a soldier goes up to quieten them.
2 elderly women want to pass outside the line. We turn to the captain and try to explain to him that they cannot pass through the men and he says he cannot check them. These are the orders of the army, holier than all else.
At 6:25 the pressure increases and we hone the DCO and Zaaraon says the problem will be dealt with.
At 6:35 the people are more impatient and the commander threatens them with a shock grenade which is in his hands. An elderly man goes to the captain as he has had an operation and has papers to prove this and is allowed to pass.
At 6:40 A soldier enters the lines and push people back. A man who says he has been waiting since 5.00 and says that his employer had just phoned him to say it is too late for him to come to work and he and another group who have been waiting go back to the occupied areas.
At 6:55 there are more than 200 people there and the commander calls for those over 60 to come out of the line and they are checked quickly. We wonder if this is his initiative but he probably got an order to do so maybe because we called the DCO.
Later the age (maybe by our instigation) is lowered to 50 and then to 40. Obviously the line then shortens quickly. But why could not have this been done an hour agoâ€¦.but where do you look for an answer. Outside the lines are workers for Elkana and their IDs are signed and they do not have to wait in line. Obviously one has to worry about building the settlements.
7:05 we leave the checkpoint