'Azzun 'Atma, Sun 5.10.08, Morning

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Ada H. Rina Z. Natanya translating


The soldiers at the checkpoint have received an order that "People with
blue IDs" may not pass the checkpoint. That is presumably for Machsomwatch women, as according to my knowledge no other Israeli citizens try to pass
here. (At the agricultural gatesinfo-icon through which we pass). And so we cannot see what is happening to those many hundreds who are waiting to pass. This order has only been passed since we started coming here on a permanent basis.

Also we are told to stand 30 metres from the checkpoint and if not they
would stop letting people through. They know too well that we will obey so as not to further hurt the Palestinians who have been waiting already for a long time.  And so we cannot carry out our mission of watching and reporting what is happening. This shows that our stand at this checkpoint is seen by the commanders of the area as a nuisance
which must be removed. Why?

We got to road 5 and parked at the boulders which block the entrance to
the village. People waiting there who had passed through the checkpoint today said that today it was good. Our taxi driver said that today there were few people because many are busy with the olive harvest.

The commander of the checkpoint, a first
sergeant receives us saying that we may not pass to the other side where the Palestinians are and that we must stand behind the cement blocks about 20 metres away. From there one can see very little of what is happening. An argument ensues and when we continued he gave an order to lock the gate and stop the checking. "The stoppage of life".  We phoned the centre and the DCO at Qalqiliya. The latter affirmed the order of the commander and demanded that we obey him. They promised to see that the checkpoint would be opened. We did not want to harm
the people waiting and went back and 10 minutes later the checkpoint opens. Later a captain arrived, the platoon commander and from him we learned that these orders were not those of the commander of the checkpoint but from higher up. It is not clear if this also includes an
order for "stoppage of life" if the orders are not obeyed. This is an illegal action even according to the orders of the army.

I said to day many people did not come but from where we stood we could not see how many. People who came out said they had waited an hour or more.  Cars did not wait long.