'Azzun 'Atma, Eliyahu Crossing, Falamiya, Habla, Kufr Jammal, Sun 2.6.13, Morning
Three “café kids” walked around at the Azzun Atme checkpoint, selling a cup of coffee for one shekel to the passer-by’s. This way they help supporting their family: Muad, 12 years old, who speaks excellent Hebrew (that he learned at the checkpoints), along with his two siblings, a girl about 10 years old and boy about 8 years old. I had to think of Israeli kids, still sleeping sweetly in their homes at this time (6 in the morning).
Judi, our guest, was appalled to witness life between the checkpoints, while on the other hand she could not help being impressed by the beauty of the area.
6:15 Azzun Atme Checkpoint
We made an exception from our regular Mondays, to see if there is a change in the checkpoint routine on a Sunday.
Outside the checkpoint many people were waiting for the transports of their employers, more than on a Monday at this hour.
It is unclear whether this results out of the efficiency of the soldiers at the checkpoint, or rather because on Sunday also people with a weekly permit arrive and maybe the passage just started earlier. At the queue itself, there was about the same amount of people as on Mondays. The carousel works, and so the queue proceeds at a reasonable pace. The checkpoint soldiers are calm, perhaps because the carousel works well, perhaps because they are “veterans” themselves (two weeks have passed since they were posted here).
Personal belongings are being left, until they get through the metal detector, along a low and narrow concrete wall. There is no orderly desk or basket for the belongings, as elsewhere. Of course, we have noticed things falling out and rolling on the floor.
We drank Muad’s coffee while observing the checkpoint.
7:25 Hable Checkpoint
People passed through the gap in the fence. The indigence here is apparently stronger than the fear to be caught. At the checkpoint, only a few people wait in the queue.
At 7:30 the school transports arrived - a boys bus and a girls bus. Both half empty. The boys bus was controlled. Probably there was someone over 16 years old, as they checked ID’s. The girls bus was controlled too – doors left open – it is rather unclear why the soldiers care about what is being brought into the west bank.
Both buses passed quickly through the checkpoint.
7:40 Eliyahu Gate
A few people wait at the pedestrians’ queue.
Quiet and peaceful, everything is green now, plenty of bird singings.
A truck loaded with pipes is not allowed to pass through. The driver explains that he does not have a steady permit and that the equipment on the truck is intended for building a greenhouse. The soldiers tell him he would be allowed to pass if they would receive a permit from the Liaison & Coordination Administration on the phone. The truck owner explains that it is not possible to obtain a permit in advance, and so he must wait an hour or two each time, until the permit is given on the phone.
Why is it not possible to arrange for him such a permit in advance?
As usual, the logic of the military is not clear; it is rather part of the general and routine policy of distressing the population.
We then visited a grocery store owner at Jimal village. His 20 year old son used to have a permit to work in agriculture at the seamline zone. As he said, while being checked by the soldiers last time, he had a laugh with them, and they took away his permit and told him to return the next day. Since then, for two weeks, he comes every day and hears the same answer. We appealed to the Liaison & Coordination Administration and the matter is now under examination.