'Azzun 'Atma, Habla
Nothing unusual occurred during today’s shift; the occupation proceeds in an exemplary manner. Today’s the sixth candle of Hanukkah; the menorah stands proudly at the entrance to the Azzun Atma checkpoint. In the year 167 BCE the Hasmoneans began their uprising, the “Hasmonean revolt,” against the Seleucid regime in the land of Israel, in response to Antiochus’ decrees, edicts imposed by the foreign rulers prohibiting the Jews from fulfilling important religious commandments (cf. Wikipedia). In our day Israel is the foreign ruler over 2.5 million Palestinians. Is it waiting for the rebellion?
06:40 Azzun Atma checkpoint
A menorah stands on the concrete cube – it’s the sixth day of Hanukkah. There’s a relatively short line at this hour, about 30 people. The crossing goes quickly and efficiently; it takes people ten minutes to go through. A soldier has a pleasant conversation with a boy selling coffee. This time they allowed him to cross; last time they wouldn’t let him through to sell coffee. Everything’s calm, people cross quickly, without difficulties. We left around 07:00.
07:30 A truck loaded with seedlings comes through the gate. A car arrives from the opposite direction. The soldiers signal the driver to open the gate; the driver says he has a problem with his leg. After a short delay a soldier opened the gate and went to check in the office. He then returned to inspect the driver’s documents while the latter was still seated in the car – instead of the usual procedure in which the driver leaves the car and goes over to the office to have his documents inspected.
A few trucks and pickups go through, and also a horse cart loaded with vegetables.
07:40 Meanwhile a fair number of people had joined the line in anticipation of the gate closing at 07:45. The gate to the village closes. We see a man standing outside, apparently wanting to go through. They didn’t let him. About 15 people await inspection between the two gates.
07:55 All those waiting were inspected and left through the gate. The soldiers close the two gates and the offices. The five soldiers who operated the checkpoint leave.