'Azzun 'Atma, Mon 16.1.12, Morning

Niba D., Rony S. (reporting), Translator: Judith Green




Unfortunately, we can't report about any improvement at the 'Azzun 'Atma checkpoint.


06:20    We park opposite the checkpoint and see a large number of small bonfires, around which the workers who have already passed through are warming themselves and are now waiting for transport to their workplaces in the surrounding settlements.  It is hard to estimate exactly how many people are crowded and packed into the line, at least 50, maybe more.  They are pushed in the direction of the turnstyle which sometimes halts because of the pressure on it.  The soldiers allow about 8 people to go through every time.  In the inspection booth, there are two female military police checking documents, but only one computer is working;  so most of the registration is done by hand, which naturally causes delay.  After the inspection of the documents, the subject must return by way of the gate and bring his belongings for inspection for another policewoman, working at the table outside;  she checks the parcels, boxes and bags very quickly.

06:40   The line is not any shorter, because more people keep arriving.  It is very cold.  One man tells us that someone was injured yesterday on the road, and another man had a heart attack and was taken away by ambulance.


 The line is very dense and the pressure increases towards 07:00;  about 70 people in line.  It is very hard to estimate how many people there are, but some people say that they have been waiting since 03:30 and are only now passing through.  Some of the workers standing near us are angry that we can't help more.  Some of them request that they open another inspection table, which would shorten the line.

 An old friend of Dalah, from the village of Wadi a Rasha, near Alfei Menashe, send greetings to her.  He says that this year they did not allow them to harvest their olives, so he must look for another way to support his family

. 07:15People are still arriving and it doesn't seem as though the pressure is letting up at all.  Very few womקn.  They come straight to the gate and the soldiers let them in without standing in line.  Teachers arrive and they also go through into the village without inspection of documents or bags.  Terribly cold, bone-chilling.  In the afternoon, when they return from work, they have to go through this again.  I feel guilty about leaving this discouraging place and going home but, except for just being there, I don't know anything I can do.

 07:45We leave .