'Azzun, Jit, Qalqiliya, Sun 29.3.09, Morning

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Esti Z., Ricky S. Translator: Louise L.

It’s early in the morning and
the road leads through a number of roadblocks such as Eliyahu and Qalqiliya.
At Qalqiliya an intensive search of the cars is being performed. 12-14
cars are waiting to drive towards Qalqiliya while the lines in the opposite
direction are shorter. According to the checkpoint commander: We are
trying to let them through quickly, and anyway the roadblock is open
24 hours a day. How generous. The occupation is improving its tools.

We drive past a road sign pointing
to the Tsofin settlement. There is no sign to Qalqiliya with its big
population, at least not on this road.

Azzun – A the junction a group
of people is waiting for transportation or a lift. The entrance to the
village is blocked by a high heap of earth. This is the only entrance/exit
in this direction, leading to work and facilitating everyday activities.
We witness a woman and a little girl trying to climb. The woman falls
and tries again. An old man arrives. He is breathing heavily after the
difficult climb. He is on his way to the clinic for heart treatment.
A group of soldiers, all belonging to the reserve forces, explain that
the villagers used to throw stones. When we ask how one can be so heartless
and block this lifeline to the village, they answer that it is not their
decision. When we wonder why a passage for pedestrians has not been
left, they agree with us, but they are happy to tell us that they will
be leaving in a few days and, anyhow, they have no influence. These
are the orders. The villagers have tried to clear away part of the earth
since it was put there, but the army blocks the way again. Of course,
young people have no problem climbing over the heap, but those really
dangerous people, such as women, babies, old people, and sick people
in need of treatment cannot get through.

On the way home, at the Jit junction,
policemen belonging to the special patrol units!! have set up a rolling
checkpoint. Palestinians are being stopped and checked.

The beautiful views make us forget
our distress for a moment, but then we meet a Palestinian who works
for the human rights organizations in the territories. He describes
the obstacles the army has imposed on him lately, including taking his
passage permit to Israel away. Immediately we remember that there are
human beings and there are those who are blacklisted by the General
Security Services.