'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Huwwara, Jit Junction , Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 29.7.13, Morning
The occupation routine; everything is operating and organized, the way the occupier knows how. It's really getting better each time, and only the sadness of those who don’t make it to “the promised land” or stable employment are left out of the orderly arrangements.
06:30 'Azzun 'Atma. Many people here already, more than usual, who’d gone through the checkpoint and wait outside, and some who were caught going through the holes in the fence also wait, sitting – because that’s how they must wait – next to the checkpoint for their IDs to be returned to them so they can go back to their own land and homes that aren’t in the promised land.
Vehicle access to the checkpoint for residents of the village living on the Israeli side of the fence is blocked by plastic barriers on the Israeli side and by concrete barriers on the Palestinian side, so when a car arrives the plastic barriers must be moved, the gate opened and the car must then slalom through the concrete barriers to Palestine.
We talked to one of those caught going through a hole in the fence. He said his employer doesn’t have any work at the moment, so he doesn’t have a permit. His employer has to deduct NIS 2200 per month from his salary (when he works) and pay the state of Israel for Bituach Leumi, money that the worker is supposed to get back some time (pension?), and other things. The whole story is very strange; I’ll try to inform Kav LaOved. Such things lead to illegal employment because the contractor doesn’t declare what he pays and doesn’t pay taxes and the state loses. Four of the detainees who had permits were eventually released; they’d gone through the hole in the fence to avoid standing in line; they were “lightly” punished.
Overall, the checkpoint operated rapidly and the line quickly shortened. Many people outside had already gone by the time we left – the fortunate who found work.
There’s a sign between the checkpoint and Oranit junction (see photo):
A commercial and industrial park will be built here.
Shomron Gate – Nahal Raba
To benefit the local residents
It’s signed by the “local” settlements: Oranit, Sha’arei Tikva, Elkana, Etz Efraim. Part of it has been blacked out.
So, I don’t get it – the sign stands on a site that will soon be behind the fence. Will the “park” have a special gate for Israeli residents? Or does “local residents” refer to Palestinians from 'Azzun 'Atma? And on what land will it be built? Whose land?
07:15 Habla. It opened at 06:30; most people have already crossed. People arrive in dribs and drabs but there’s no real line.
07:45 Eliyahu checkpoint. There is no one on the pedestrian line, nor any vehicles being inspected, but neither is there sufficient irrigation and all the lovely flowers are wilting. On the other hand, everywhere things have been newly painted in fluorescent colors. Rachel asks whether there’s a design specification dealing with “checkpoint design.”
Jit junction. A new road has been paved along the escarpment north of Highway 60, and at a high spot in Sufa a pillbox has been erected which isn’t manned.
Four jeeps were scattered alongside Highway 60 on the way to Huwwara, observing – are they waiting for riots? And if so, what will they protect, if anything?
Between the two entrances from Highway 60 to the Gil’ad Farm lighting has been installed which would do the Country Club junction on the coastal road proud – and all that for illegal settlers. On the other hand, the old checkpoint and parking lot at Huwwara, which are not in use, are illuminated by day, the lighting competing with the sun. Crazy – and at our expense.
The Huwwara checkpoint is open and unmanned, and also the one at Beit Furiq. The entrance to Beit Dajan from the road to Alon Moreh (Madison) is open.
The Za’tara junction is unmanned.
The entrance to Salfit from the road to Ariel is open – the two yellow gates are up and it seems that entry is unrestricted, but at the guard post at the entrance to Ariel, a little distant from the entrance to Salfit but overlooking it, is a soldier observing – at least, that’s what it looks like.