'Azzun 'Atma, Thu 1.10.09, Afternoon

Yehudit L., Maya G.-Z. (reporting), Visitor: Hila N., Chana S. translating

‘Azzun ‘Atma 16.10      We reached the southern checkpoint as workers were returning home.  Vehicles kept arriving and dropping off groups of men.  Checking of documents was conducted sometimes by soldiers standing in a tent and sometimes by a soldier sitting in the booth.  Everyone was checked.  One man was detained 5 minutes for checking and then allowed to enter.

We wanted, as usual, to enter the village so as to reach the northern checkpoint.  But the commander physically stopped us. We explained that he did not have the authority to do so and he phoned to get permission to allow us to enter.  Of course he got a negative answer.  We tried a second time to enter but once again he blocked us and contacted the police, all this while people were arriving, being checked, and entering. Two of the inhabitants saw that we were not allowed to enter and used their work permits to come out and talk to us.  They said that on Wednesday evening at about 20.30, 5 youths were caught trying to pass through a gap in the fence.  It is not the first time that Palestinians are caught trying to pass there. It is not mended and it is not hard to guess why.  The youths, all of them relatives of one of the men talking to us, are being held in Ariel.  That man said he was in touch with a lawyer and the youths are likely to be released in return for financial security or a fine.

In addition, they told us that for the past three days they have not been allowed to take large parcels into the village.  One of the men has three large crates of olives in a house outside the fence and he cannot bring them into the village. 

After talking with the men we left the checkpoint.