'Azzun 'Atma, Eliyahu Crossing, Falamiya, Habla, Tue 1.10.13, Morning

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Rachel A., Uri B. (guest), Nina S. (reporting) Translator: Charles K.

Entry to Azzun Atma from the north is restricted; Habla opened very late.  Lucky that it’s still summer time in Palestine so the children weren’t late for school.  The gate next to Beit Tanai in Elkana opened for the olive harvest.


06:10  Azzun Atma.  Not many people outside; a very long line at the checkpoint, which is operating only middling quickly.  Those arriving from north of Azzun must first wait on line at the northern gate to the village, where, after the recent murder inspections are conducted continuously, and again on line at the southern gate out of the village toward Israel and their jobs.


06:35  Tanai gate/Maskhajust opened and the olive harvesters go through with a donkey cart and even a very young foal.  This gate is supposed to open for 15 minutes from 06:30-06:45, and at 16:30 in the afternoon, for 15 minutes.  That’s certainly better than nothing.  People going through said that not everyone who applied for permits received them, but more permits are supposed to arrive today, hopefully for everyone.


07:10  Habla.  The gate is closed and locked.  After determining that it’s not because of the end of summer time we started phoning the DCO.  The excuse:  the soldiers have car trouble.  Later, after more phone calls, it turned out they have a flat tire.  I wonder what the army would do if it had to go to war – also wait an hour and a quarter to fix a flat?  Aren’t there any other cars?  And in fact, a DCO officer arrives at the checkpoint later in a pickup truck which certainly could have brought the soldiers, but that’s not his job.  Then another pickup truck driven by an officer arrives, empty, which also isn’t going to get the soldiers to open the checkpoint where many people are waiting who planned to cross at 06:30 and it’s now after 07:00, by which time everyone had usually gone through.  It’s lucky that school is still on summer time, so the children come to the checkpoint after 8, instead of after 7.  Finally, at 07:45, an hour and a quarter late, the soldiers finally arrived, took five more minutes to open all the gatesinfo-icon and the checkpoint began operation an hour and fifty minutes late, and is now working pretty fast – which is something, at least.


08:20  Eliyahu crossing.  Many pedestrians wait to cross today, though it’s not clear why.  Perhaps they leave for work later because they’re still on winter time?  We weren’t able to find out.


08:45  Falamya.  It’s quiet.  We don’t see anyone working on the new fence, but the work might be going on behind the hill.  We can already see people harvesting in the surrounding olive groves, but the olive press in Jayyus is still closed.