'Azzun 'Atma, Eliyahu Crossing, Falamiya, Habla, Shave Shomron, Mon 21.1.13, Morning
Ordinary day of occupation. The passage at 'Azzun 'Atma is slow, at Habla everything is as usual. The children are still on vacation.
06:05 Entrance from Oranit in the direction of Tamar Gate
There is light beside the gate and it is clear that the army is already there. Soon we see figures in the dark coming towards us on the road where the gate is open. They say that everything is quiet.
06:30 'Azzun 'Atma
There are a lot of people waiting outside on both sides of the road. A lot of bonfires have been set up to warm those waiting for transport. There are about 70 people in line, which is relatively a lot compared to recent days when we were here at the same hour. The passage is rather slow because, like a week ago, the soldiers close the gate and every time that 2 people pass inspection they open the gate again; two more enter and they close the gate again. After I photographed what was happening, a soldier came up to me in anger and asked to check that I hadn't photographed him. I showed him the pictures and we explained to him how his work method was slowing down the passage of people - which was something we wished to show in the photos. We spoke about the serious difficulty for the people standing in line, day after day, not for pleasure - discotheque - but because they had to go to work to support their families.
Afterward, when it was his turn to operate the gate, he did leave the gate open and, every time that someone got to the inspection booth, he already let the next one in line move forward in line through the gate. It really did make the whole operation more efficient. During this entire period, the line did not decrease, as people kept coming .
They are working on the side of the road with huge equipment on the southern side and also at the entrance to Shaarei Tikva. It seems that the fence will be moved in such a way that the residents of Shaarei Tikva and their friends will have a new entrance and all the area of the entrance will apparently be returned to'Azzun 'Atma . It isn't clear what was the point of this huge investment in improving the checkpoint. But perhaps they misled us and it isn't going to be moved elsewhere. What is certain is that there will be a new fence around'Azzun 'Atma or, as the Palestinian Israeli worker told us, they are creating a separation fence for it.
There are almost no people; whoever arrives takes only a minute for inspection. There are a lot of wagons and cars going through in relation to previous days. The children are still on vacation - another week and a half, and one is quite conscious of them accompanying their parents to work.
07:50 Eliyahu Gate
4 cars are being inspected and very few people are waiting in the pedestrian line. There is a new shed at the entrance for inspection on the pedestrian line, and another
shed farther down the path where they must walk, around the checkpoint, in order to reach the road and continue on their way.
It is quiet as usual at this hour; nevertheless, people continued to arrive with wagons and cars with work equipment to go to the fields. There are a number of children among them who joined their parents, even 3 small children, maybe 4, 6 and 7, who went out with their parents to the field or the grove. At a certain point there was even a short line at the inspection booth.
We continued by way of Jit to Deir Sharaf. The hills are already green, with wildflowers blossoming as well as almond trees in honor of Tu b'Shvat.
09:10 Shavei Shomron - no checkpoint, free passage.
In the shop at Deir Sharaf they told us that life isn't so bad, but there isn't enough work and everyone must get permits to work in Israel. If they would only let us work, all of us would be satisfied and everything would be fine.