'Azzun 'Atma, Mon 20.4.09, Morning
06:15 - About 20 people waiting at the checkpoint
Only those working in the settlements of the area can pass through the
checkpoint. Those working in Israel are sent to the Ayal crossing.
This is a great hardship for them: they have to cross at the southern
checkpoint of the village, travel a distance of 20 kilometers and then
wait in a very crowded line at the Ayal crossing point for one or two
hours - and all this is before they begin to travel to work in Israel.
An additional problem: most of the workers arrive at Ayal between
the hours of 3:00-4:00 in order to get a place in line. The southern
checkpoint opens, as far as I know, only at 5;00.
This is the reason why so few people cross at this checkpoint at the
hour when so many workers go to their jobs.
Another injury to the residents of this village:
Only those who have a border permit are allowed through this
checkpoint. Recently, they obligate the residents to get these
permits (which need to be renewed every 3 months and there is always
the possibility that they won't be renewed for one reason or another).
And some people refuse to take them, on the advice of a lawyer. And
all this is happening just while they keep announcing easing of
restrictions on the mobility of inhabitants of the west bank.
The wait in line is about 8 minutes.
A boy who lives on the side of the village which is north of the
checkpoint and needs to get to the school which is within the village,
needs to present his birth certificate at the checkpoint, a copy of
the ID of his father and a copy of his father's border permit!