'Azzun, 'Azzun 'Atma, Habla, Huwwara, Jit, Sun 8.8.10, Morning
After an absence of many months we returned to the territories to see that there’s nothing new under the sun, though there might be slightly less daily harassment.
07:25 Checkpoint at the entrance to ‘Azzun ‘Atma.
The checkpoint is well-organized with gates and fences. Laborers who’ve gone through the checkpoint wait across the road to go to work.
One man approaches us to complain about wild boars in the area that are damaging their crops. We’re not sure what can be done about it.
We cross the road, come near the gate, and the soldiers are upon us immediately: “You’re not allowed to approach; you’re disturbing us, move back behind the concrete barriers.” We remained standing there and saw one of the local residents seated on the ground, handcuffed. After some discussion, and after they answered our questions about why he was handcuffed – “wanted,” was the reply – and because the checkpoint was already empty, we left.
There’s some construction in Huwwara, residential buildings. Nadim says that because the situation is a little calmer people are less apprehensive, and are starting to invest.
08:00 Huwwara checkpoint
The parking lot is deserted, the pedestrian crossing facility is deserted – thistles are beginning to grow there. How much money has been sunk into the Huwwara checkpoint since it was first erected? The cost, when you consider what could have been done with the money, simply makes your blood boil. First a northern and a southern checkpoint, defined by concrete barriers without even a roof, then covered crossings, then dismantling of the southern checkpoint, then the construction of the first electronic crossing, and then the second, even larger.
Of course, it’s better that the checkpoints aren’t functioning.
There’s a guard post at the entrance to the parking lot. We get out of the car and are immediately warned not to approach the vehicle checkpoint before the commander arrives. We left before he showed up. Vehicles enter and leave Nablus almost without interference.
We entered the territories via the Shomron gate and didn’t see any army units on the way.
We returned via Jit junction and Funduq, toward ‘Azzun and the Qalqilya checkpoints which were already empty.
Habla – We reached the gate to the village hemmed in by what appears to be an electrified fence on which there’s a sign, “Mortal danger, Military area, anyone crossing or damaging it takes his life in his own hands.”
You exit Habla by going under the bridge, toward Qalqilya,.
One gate on the western side is open for a few hours so agricultural workers can cross – the one next to the plant nursery.
The only place we saw a military vehicle parked was near Qedumim.