'Azzun 'Atma, Wed 13.5.09, Afternoon

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Observers: 
Nava M and Didika Y (reporting), translator:Charles K.
May-13-2009
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Afternoon

 

We arrived at the checkpoint at 1805 and stayed about 30 minutes.

The checkpoint was quiet and few people crossed while we were there.

When we arrived the border police were inspecting a group of people who were waiting to cross, made a list of their identification details, and then drove off. One of the policemen told us it’s OK to stand near the checkpoint but not to speak to anyone in the group. The rest of the people were inspected as normal by the soldiers manning the checkpoint.


We met one man that was refused entry. We asked what the problem was and he said that he is an Israeli citizen who has a cement factory inside the village and he wanted to check it but was not allowed in. He complained about the problems since the village was blocked off which has caused him considerable income and client loses. He does not have a permit and had difficulties obtaining one, probably because he is Israeli, but sometimes the soldiers at the checkpoint allow him to enter because they know him. Today they did not allow him. The soldier tried to explain politely to him that he does not have the authority to allow him without the permit but he was quite upset and argumentative. He was told that he must arrange a permanent permit through the authorities.