'Azzun 'Atma, Eyal Crossing, Habla
The occupation continues to improve, the checkpoints are operating at top capacity. The children are on vacation and we saw a number of them going out to work with their parents.
06:15 'Azzun 'Atma
Surprisingly there is no one standing in line. Outside, there are a lot of people, the usual number, who have gone through warming themselves around bonfires. It is cold outside, despite the pleasant weather. The soldiers tell us that they were efficient; also the Palestinians also said there were no problems in getting to this checkpoint (i.e., the gate from Beit Amin to 'Azzun was supervised, but it was possible to go through). On the other hand, both the soldiers and the Palestinians said that on Sunday there was chaos, arguments in the line and many problems. The wall, which surrounds 'Azzun 'Atma, is constantly getting larger, almost reaching the road to Elkana. What will happen when it crosses the road? Not clear.
There are about 30 people in line; new people keep arriving. The line is not short, but the crossing is pretty quick. 30 people in about 10 minutes, a record for this checkpoint. A lot of wagons go through and, in the end, also a lot of vehicles with seedlings and wrinkled sabra leaves being taken to the nursery to grow sabra plants.
The children are on vacation and came to work with their parents, even a small 6-year old who came to work with his father. The wagon owners opened, and later closed, the vehicles gate -- self service. In order to speed up the crossing of the last people, some of them are checked by hand by the soldiers at the checkpoint.
The checkpoint is closed. No more people are waiting. Today they all managed to go through.
08:10 Eyal checkpoint
We went there, not because it is a good hour to watch, but so that we could acquaint Rachel with the checkpoint and do a little investigating. On the northern side, there is a new impermeable fence being constructed in place of the wire fence which bordered the area between the checkpoint and the DCO office. Now it is really impossible to see anything, everything is blocked off. The occupation is continually hiding itself more effectively. Transparency is not its strong card.
A group of women went by, on the way to Jerusalem; a group of workers returned home as they did not find work and were very depressed - what can they do now? No work and no income. It costs 30 NIS to travel in each direction from their homes to Nablus and, in the end, no work and no money.