'Azzun 'Atma, Falamiya, Habla, Shave Shomron, Mon 15.10.12, Morning
Translator: Judith Green
6:30 Azzun Atma
Because of delays, we were a bit late. Lots of people were sitting outside already, waiting for transports. There was a line of about 30 people; by 6:30, all had gone through. The soldiers said that because of the new system, and the political situation, the passage is quick. It was too late to take a look at the Tamar Gate, so we decided to show Barbara, our guest, the isolated house of Hani, at the outskirts of Elkana.
6:50 To our surprise, a car full of soldiers appeared right after us; they opened the Gate to the road and drove off to the north. We were told by the security guard that they had gone to open another gate. Right after that, a security guard arrived from the settlement who told us that we had entered a military area - notice the sign! The sign was one meter behind us.
More soldiers arrived and then, at 7:10, the security guard left toward the eastern gate of the security fence, in the direction of Mashah, and opened it. He checked the documents of those waiting there and let them enter Elkanah. Some of them immediately went down toward the fields and a few went in the direction of Elkanah. 11 women went by, 6 men, including one youth and the rest elderly, and 4 children. 2 youths were sent back and we weren't able to find out why. Some of them had carts and donkeys and they all had harvesting equipment. At 7:20, the gate was closed by the security guard.
It is surprising that the control over the passage is in his hands and not in the hands of the army. Since when can security guards decide who is allowed to go through??
There were still about 20 people waiting to go through; the passage was faster than usual.
A tractor was stuck in the mddle of the passage. The problem was that the driver did not have the proper permit. The soldiers were clearing it up with the DCO and were told that he was not allowed to go through. He claimmed that he always went through and that is the arrangement. It turned out that the soldiers had spoken with someone of a low rank at the DCO. We called Tedesa, after the tractor driver contacted the Palestinian DCO. Tedesa already knew about the problem and immediately permitted the tractor's passage through.
We also went to Shavei Shomron - highway #60, in order to see if everything was open there and there were no detainees and, at the bakery, they assured us that there were delays only (!) on days when the settlers were traveling to Homesh.