'Azzun 'Atma, Habla, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 20.11.12, Afternoon
13:45 Habla gate – People were inspected and crossed as usual, but five minutes before the gate was to close a man arrived from the Habla side and began talking to the soldiers. An argument ensued; the soldiers didn’t allow him to cross and sent him back.
We approached a soldier who was near the gate to find out what was going on; she told us not to talk to soldiers. Meanwhile a young man arrived from the plant nurseries with a horse cart, wanting to enter. He did, leaving the horse and cart next to the gate.
He spoke to the soldiers, argued with them, but they didn’t allow him to enter. When he came out we asked him what was going on. He said the cart belongs to his cousin who’s waiting on the other side. The soldiers aren’t letting him through because his own permit is for the Eliyahu crossing, but the cart’s tire has a flat and he can’t drive it that far so he asked his cousin to give him the cousin’s permit (which is for the Habla gate).
We telephoned ‘Adel from the DCO, told him the story and asked him to help them before the gate closes (in two minutes). He asked whether the cart was empty; we said yes. He immediately spoke to someone and the soldiers received a phone call as a result of which they let the man through with the cart. Then they immediately locked the gate. Boy, did they give us a look!
‘Adel called to ask whether the cart had gone through. We “thanked him,” of course. He asked whether we were on the Eliyahu checkpoint side. He’s eager to meet us. We drove there, met and spoke to him. He apologized of course, thanked us for contacting him and asked us to get in touch with him whenever there’s a problem and he’ll help if he can.
We continued to Huwwara. A flying checkpoint at the Yitzhar junction. Palestinian vehicles were stopped and inspected.
15:25 The Huwwara checkpoint was empty. We continued to Za’tara, which was manned, but vehicles went through without inspection.
17:15 We left.