'Azzun 'Atma, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Huwwara, Mon 28.1.13, Morning
The children are still on vacation; at Huwwara there are inspections at the entrance to Nablus. There ia a change of opening hours at Habla. It is worth checking what goes on there in the afternoon/evening hours.
06:15 'Azzun 'Atma
People are arriving from the Tamar Gate to the road, they said that it opened on time. Outside the Gate, there are a lot of people and, as always, there are bonfires to warm the groups of people and a lot of cars waiting for their workers. The little coffee seller is accompanied this time by his 8-year old brother; their 10-year-old sister also arrives with another jug of coffee. They live along the road to the west of the checkpoint area, so, in order to get there, they have to walk along the road which isn't especially busy at this hour, but the cars traveling on it fly by at great speed.
There are about 70 people in line, but things are going very quickly. A number of people were permitted to go through the Gate and stand nearer to the inspection area, which makes the passage much faster. One man whose waiting time we checked from his arrival, went through in 15 minutes, which is actually record time for this place at this hour. The line continues to shorten and, by the time we left, there were only about 30 people in it.
Now they are just opening the gates. There is a change since yesterday in the opening hours, which are now 07:00 - 08:15, 13:00 – 14:00, 17:30 - 18:15 (45 minutes less). People were complaining to us especially about the evening hour, which is too late, as they want to get home before dark, and they finish work much earlier. Those going through told us that they didn't know about the changes and only found out on Friday. The soldiers said that there was a change because they had to open an addition gate, 1360. We went to find it, but it is apparently near Ras at Tira, in an area which we can't reach without our car. We tried to travel to the road which used to lead to Ras at Tira, but the number of the Gate there was different. The whole issue is being 0
The passage was very fast today, really amazing, more than double than usual; it seems that this is possible!
07:50 Eliyahu Gate
2 cars are being inspected and no pedestrians are in line.
Amazing! There are actually soldiers at the checkpoint and they are stopping and inspecting the vehicles entering Nablus. They said that they were looking for something. Every once in a while they move vehicles to an area closed by stakes in the road, check the documents and cars, and after about 3-5 minutes release them. While the vehicles or, more correctly, the documents are being inspected, the passengers get out and stand on the side.
The traffic circle at the entrance to Hawarra continues to be "improved", as we have already seen in Yehudit's photos. And we, of course, are paying for that. Now a few olive trees have been added, with thick trunks, certainly quite mature trees, and also expensive if one was to buy them. Can we assume they have been stolen?
09:00 Za'atra junction
We traveled from here mainly because of yesterday's "happenings" - in which Palestinians were supposedly caught with a pipe bomb. The area is quiet, no soldiers inspecting and no sign of what happened.
09:20 Entrance to Salfit from Ariel
When we arrive, the yellow gate is closed and there is no sign of life; we stopped nearby and then cars appeared from Salfit and at the guard station at the entrance to Ariel, 50 meters away, 2 soldiers appeared and asked us not to stand near the gate as we were bothering them. So, we moved a bit and then the soldiers returned to the Ariel guard station, from which they apparently used an electrical device to open the gates so that the cars could go through. Also the cars which now arrived from the main road simply entered without any inspection. So, there is long-distance control but, if everyone goes in anyway, what is the sense of closing the gate?