'Azzun, 'Azzun 'Atma, 'Izbet alTabib, Habla, Jayyus
The wall around 'Azzun 'Atma is growing in leaps and bounds. At Habla the vehicles' gate is closed because the lock is damaged and some of them weren't able to go through. At Jayyus, the army is wandering around and inciting the kids; they are throwing stones and so gas grenades are fired, even into the yards of the houses, harming a lot of people.
06:10 'Azzun 'Atma
Many people who have already gone through are gathered around bonfires in the lot opposite the checkpoint. Only about 25 people are waiting at the checkpoint, very few for this hour. The efficiency of the checkpoint is impressive, also according to the soldiers who said it took them several days to learn what was necessary and now they are well-organized. There are already 5 locals selling coffee. The schools are still closed during the vacation. The north gate from the West Bank into 'Azzun 'Atma is manned; only residents of 'Azzun and those with work permits are allowed through it into 'Azzun 'Atma itself. The passage that we timed took 8 minutes. At 06:30 only a few people were left in line. The wall around 'Azzun 'Atma has been built up very quickly and almost reaches the road to Elkana. It really mars the landscape even though it is decorated with all kinds of shapes and colors.
There are about 15 people waiting in line, with others arriving constantly. The passage is very swift, 20 people went through in about 7 minutes. The Military Police is present at the checkpoint here and there and they sometimes stop people who have already passed inspection and inspect their documents again. One is sent back, he is not allowed to go through this checkpoint and the second lost his permit and was sent back to the gate until someone brought it to him. They also tried to distance us, but we explained that as long as we are on the "Israeli" side of the sign that says military area, we are allowed to stand there. Our impression is that the Police are pretty hard on them but they don't complain and come out smiling. Amazing how one can smile after all this.
The pace of the passage slows down because of discussions held next to the inner gate of Habla, but all the pedestrians passed through before the gates closed. At the same time, a discussion develops next to the gate and we realize that the lock of the vehicles' gate is damaged and it is impossible to open it. After a lot of discussion, all the wagon drivers returned on their tracks. When we understood what was going on, we called the DCO and they stated that they were aware of the problem and some workers would come immediately to open the gate, and that was what happened. At 07:40 the workers arrived and sawed off the lock and the vehicles were able to enter. The drivers had not given up and they had also phoned the DCO and complained (they told us that they also called Dalia G., and that her work behind the scene solved the problem). It's a pity that the wagon drivers didn't wait and had returned and lost a day's work. At 08:00 all the gates were closed and everyone went on their way. Only one poor person remained - a Palestinian who had left his car next to the gate on the Habla side and crossed on foot, and now he heard that it was possible to bring the car across and he went running back again, but too late, the soldiers were no longer willing to let him bring it through. The man told us that he was the father of the Palestinian who saved two Israeli children from drowning in the Kinneret two years ago and, in the end, drowned himself - how awful. He was married and the father of 2 children who were vacationing with him at the Kinneret when this happened.
Izbat al Tabib– There is a military vehicle at the entrance to the village; the soldiers observe. We passed the village and everything was quiet.
'Azzun- Here too there is a military vehicle at the entrance with soldiers guarding.
Jayyus- We traveled there since the Ecumenicals called us yesterday from the village for help. There were soldiers in the village and they were firing gas grenades. We met with them and people from the village and, according to their story, the army entered the village in 2-3 vehicles which incited the children to throw stones and then the soldiers fired gas grenades at them; last Thursday they also fired rubber bullets. One grenade was fired into the courtyard where a family was sitting with guests and everyone was harmed by the gas, including infants, and the girls from the Ecumenicals were also injured; on Monday night the same thing happened. What the army wants in the villages, other than to harass and incite children isn't clear. This is Area B and there are no settlements which need to be defended. Why don't they let people live in peace? The people of Jayyus also complain that for several weeks the army has been blocking the patrol road with heaps of earth. Of course, the residents can go out through the gate to the seam area in the direction of their fields, but they can't bring agricultural equipment so they have to go to Falamya, and then somehow return through the fields and orchards to their land. So the army is OK, they open the gates, but there is nowhere to go. On the way back we noticed that the jeeps at 'Azzun and Izbat al Tabib were no longer there.