'Azzun 'Atma, Thu 7.5.09, Afternoon
16:30 About 50 workers returning from work stand one behind the other in a winding line that stretches to the middle of the road. Two female soldiers face them. They yell, “Get back; no one goes through until you move back.” Those at the front move back. The soldiers keep yelling, “Back,” though it isn’t clear where the people are supposed to move “back” to. Inspections aren’t being carried out. More soldiers arrive, police, four youths are detained, released. The long line of people who have been waiting is no longer a single line, like it’s supposed to be. The army starts organizing things: “If you don’t form a straight line, you won’t go through. Make a single line.” The Palestinians have already lost patience, and don’t obey. The atmosphere is tense. We called the humanitarian office, and apparently orders came down to forget about the drill being perfect. In any case, in order not to give the impression of surrender, one of the soldiers explains, “OK, at least move off to the side so cars can go by.” The compromise is accepted. The inspection finally is carried out quickly, and in a few minutes the workers are allowed to go home.