'Azzun 'Atma, Thu 23.4.09, Morning

Esti W., Nava A., Translator: Charles K.

'Azzun 'Atma, 07:00  We arrived after rush hour was over, and now it’s the time that school pupils go through.  They’re ordered to line up, and two brave female soldiers check their transit permissions. Every child has three pieces of paper, some of them in plastic sleeves.I don’t know how many families live on the other side of the fence, but the children have to rise early.

I asked the commander whether she doesn’t have a bitter taste in her mouth when, for the sake of Israel’s security, she has to detain six- and seven-year-olds on their way to school.  Her answer:  I live my country and the army and I have to carry out my obligations as a soldier.  I won’t violate orders.  After an annoying follow-up question, she said: That’s why I went to a commanders’ course, so I could command a checkpoint and use my judgment when running it.

The Israeli contractors waited on the other side of the road for the workers who hadn’t yet gone through the checkpoint.  Everything was quiet and peaceful, as if ordained by fate.I’m afraid of the day the volcano will erupt.