'Azzun 'Atma, Habla, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 24.11.11, Afternoon

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Shoshi A., Yehudit Levin (reporting and photographing)

Translator:  Charles k.


Following up on the recent reports:

  1. Palestinian laborers (still) wait on long lines at Azzun Atma
  2. Armed soldiers present in the villageof Huwwara.


13:45  Habla checkpoint – Palestinians in cars and on foot wait on both sides of the checkpoint to be inspected inside the rooms.

Next to the entry gate (on the Israeli side), one of whose doors is missing, two Israeli contractors in civilian clothes, armed with revolvers, “explain” to us that the Palestinians broke the gate (?!); they’re repairing it.   Then they rudely chase us away.

At the same time, reservists stood on the other side (next to the gate through which Palestinians exit to Israel).

When we asked Palestinians about the broken gate, they said it had never happened.

14:10  Eliyahu crossing – Two settlers armed with submachine guns wander around the checkpoint.

14:15  A military truck with a sign “Abirei HaDarom” drives toward us after we passed Nabi Elias.

14:20  An armored police vehicle drives toward us beyond Al Funduq.

14:25  A military command car coming from the Mitzpeh Yishai settlement turns onto Highway 55 (not far from the Qedumim settlement).

14:27  Something new near the settlement of Havvat Gil’ad:  Two kilometers of high electric light poles, for nighttime illumination (on Highway 60).

14:40  A military jeep comes toward us near the village of Madme(Highway 60).

14:45  Highway 60 – Burin/Yitzhar junction –A military jeep drives toward the villageof Huwwara.  We see another military jeep lying in wait at the entrance to Huwwara.

15:00  Huwwara checkpoint – We saw no soldiers at the checkpoint.  Settlers’ posters hang as usual on the checkpoint fences, including an invitation to an event connected to a new neighborhood in a settlement.  A military jeep, soldiers standing alongside, parked at the plaza at the hitchhiking station at the entrance to the Bracha settlement.

15:02  A group of soldiers at the northern entrance to the villageof Huwwara, weapons at the ready, walks toward the village.  The jeep we mentioned (at 14:45) is still parked there.

15:10  A military command car speeds along the main street of the village.

15:35  On the way to Za’tara – a military jeep drives toward us.

15:40  Za’tara checkpoint -   Heavy traffic, particularly coming from Nablusto Ramallah, but no inspection at the checkpoint.  Groups of soldiers undergoing orientation in the parking area.  Two armed settlers near them.

15:50  A command car exits from the direction of Hars.

16:05 Azzun Atma checkpoint – Long lines at the checkpoint.  About 150 laborers returning home after a day of work in the settlements (in their midst, large metal poles for a shade netting or canopy being erected there).  A Palestinian who’s had enough complains, “A donkey gets better treatment than people here” (in fact, a Palestinian with a donkey cart comes later and go through before him…).  He says yesterday he arrived at the checkpoint at 4 PM, and didn’t get home until 7:30 PM.  “No father coming home from work tells his children to make peace,” he says.  He can’t understand why they register him twice a day.

We contact N., in the humanitarian office.  She says she’ll look into it.

16:35  We contact the humanitarian office again.  N. says they’re trying to speed up the crossing.