'Azzun 'Atma, Thu 6.8.09, Afternoon

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Yehudit L., Maya Gan-Zvi (reporting), Translator: Charles K.
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

‘Azzun ‘Atma  

16:10  We arrived at the upper checkpoint.

Laborers return from their workday and about 10 are waiting at the checkpoint to enter the village.


After the line disappeared, we decided to enter.  When we walked on the pedestrian path toward the village, the checkpoint commander and another soldier stopped us.  They themselves had entered the village, and we met as they ran back to their positions at the checkpoint.  The commander announced that we were forbidden to enter and they blocked the entrance with their bodies.  At the same time, the commander radioed the police and announced that he’s closing the checkpoint – he locked the entrance gate. We offered to show him the official, legal IDF document allowing us to enter, and he declared, “I’m the checkpoint commander.  I don’t allow any thing like that.  Legal, illegal, no one goes through.”


A female soldier’s voice came over the radio asking the other soldier whether there’s a connection between our presence and the checkpoint closureinfo-icon. 

Meanwhile the line at the checkpoint gets longer and after about 10 minutes one of the villagers approaches and asks us to come out.  We left and a few minutes later a police car arrived with one policeman and two policewomen.


Laborers keep arriving at the checkpoint and have their IDs checked, by a soldier in a structure, through a window.  The two soldiers who didn’t allow us to enter aren’t involved at all in checking the Palestinians. 


A person who passed by (apparently a settler) looked at the policewoman, pointed to Yehudit and drew his finger across his neck. 


We talked to the policeman and explained what was happening, and showed him the entry permit.  The soldier called the soldier over and asked him whether we could enter.

The checkpoint commander (who wasn’t interested in the law earlier) said that we could, but we should have showed him the permit.  But even now, in the presence of the policeman, he refused to look at it, declaring: “I’m the boss here”.  After a discussion it was made completely clear that there was no reason to prevent our entering the village.

We went in and took a cab to the lower checkpoint.


16:40  Pedestrians and cars are waiting on both sides of the checkpoint.

Inspection of documents of those entering and leaving is rigorous. One-way traffic changes direction every few minutes. 


Laborers who were inspected at the upper checkpoint a few minutes ago are checked again at the lower one.

 17:10  We leave ‘Azzun ‘Atma.

17:10 – עוזבות את עזון עתמה.