'Azzun 'Atma, Thu 16.10.08, Morning

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Rachel AT, Tamar S.
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Natanya translating

7.00. Azun Atma.  As a result of the report received that 30 families of the village had received permits to pass the checkpoint so as to harvest their olives. We went to see that this actually took place. When we arrived we were told by the soldiers that thee were about 100 people there and representatives of the DCO and that all had passed.

Two cars were standing at the side to be checked. The driver, the owner of two trucks, motioned to us in despair that they were going to make him take down his entire load. We stayed to watch. A negotiation  ensued between the soldiers and the driver who knew the procedure well. The tone of both was of boredom and of despair. The soldier insisted that the driver take down his load and the driver is despair starts to take down the sacks. The soldier tries to encourage him but is obstinate that he has to do so. It looks ridiculous. The owner takes down parcel after parcel. They are enormous and the soldier does not check them and who knows what they contain. The main thing is that he must take them off the truck. The driver keeps on arguing, trying to persuade the soldier to look amongst the parcels which are still inside the truck and save him taking them down. In the end they come to an agreement and not everything has to be taken down.

Then the soldier finds a jacket in the truck which seems to be that of the army and asks the driver from where it is and where it is going. The driver says that it is not army property and refuses to give the jacket up. The soldier in the end lets the jacked stay at the checkpoint with the names of the driver and says that he can get it when he comes back.

7.20 The driver goes on his way with a bitter "good morning" to us.