'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Amin Checkpoint south(1447), Habla Checkpoint (1393)

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Annelien K., Nina S. (reporting)

The occupation routine, The Palestinians “know” how to behave, where to stop and what to do at the passage and the soldiers too are trained.

6.15 The Habla Checkpoint – The soldiers have already arrived and are in the course of opening the barrier.

6.20 People begin to pass. There are few people who pass today, as it is the last day of the holiday. Those who don’t have to come – such as those who work on their own fields – do not arrive. There are the plant nursery workers, as usual. Therefore, there is no real queue and there is a perpetual dribble of people at the passage. At 7 o’clock A., the owner of the plant nursery arrives, “to organize” the queue which doesn’t require to be organized today. He remains there until the checkpoint is closed. Toward closing time there are more people, but no real queue is formed. The opening hours at Habla in the morning are 6.15-7.45.

We drove to the Azzun Atma 1474 checkpoint and continued on the system road to the Abu Salman – Beit Amin 1447 checkpoint. A group of Palestinians sat there on the side of the road, waiting for the opening of the checkpoint in order to return home. We asked them how come they were already there, at this hour, waiting to return home, and they answered that they had passed at Abu Jalud in the morning at 6 o’clock, went to the fields and plantations to open the water valves and were now returning, This meant that they have marched a few kilometers between the gatesinfo-icon in addition to the walk to the plantations, in order to return home at this hour. This way at least they did not have to stay in the fields the whole day in the heat which was very exhausting this morning. The soldiers arrived and sent us away – you are not allowed to be here – and we returned in the direction of checkpoint 1474 where we waited for the soldiers who opened the Abu Salman barrier for 15 minutes.

The opening hours in the morning at 1447 are 7.55-8.10

Here too there was a car owner who passed through Abu Jalud at 6 o’clock in the morning, drove to the fields to open the water valves and to transport people, and was not returning home through this gate. He was from Azzun Atma.

The Azzun Atma gate was opened at 8.20, a few minutes after the appointed time, and about 25 persons passed through it, including the son of the car owner. This young man had no number in the computer, although since 4 months has a permit to pass. A phone conversation clarified that his permits are indeed legal, and he passed. His father says that this is the situation since he received the permit four months ago – he doesn’t appear in the computer every day, and his permit to pass requires a check. The father says that as there were problems concerning the permits (his permits aswell were not renewed in time) they now get permits at the Palestinian DCO but he was unable to get permits for all his sons, only to 4 of them. Now they opened the gate wide to enable the car owner to return to Azzun Atma.

The opening hours in the morning at 1474 are 8.15-8.45