'Azzun 'Atma, Habla

Observers: 
Shoshana Z., Nina S. (reporting), Translator: . Judith Green
31/03/2014
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Morning

'Azzun 'Atma, Habla

 

Habla- water problem.

The well next to the checkkpoint was supposed to have been upgraded from benzine to electricity, but it has been idle since Thursday because the IDF confiscated the new pump and pipe for renewing the well even though it had been agreed with the staff from the nursery that they could do the work, which is not new work but only an upgrade of what already existed to a more ecological pump (electric rather than benzine), and is also cheaper to operate.

 

'Azzun 'Atma- Long lines, mainly because of lack of efficiency of the soldiers;  part of the time, only 2 inspection stations were open instead of 3.  Also at Habla the people went through very slowly and the checkpoint closed, after they all went through, only at 08:25.

 

06:10  'Azzun 'Atma- It is very cold, only 7 C outside.  We had become accustomed to the heat and this was surprising.  The people outside again crowded around bonfiresas did some inside the shed.  There are 6 tea and coffee kids, very young.  The youngest looks about 9.  At about 07:00, 3 of them went home - to school, but one remained, 13 years. old, and said he no longer goes to school, he needs the money.  There is one detainee who went through a hole in the fence.  We try to speak with the EAPPI people who are on the other side of the fence, but the soldiers are tense and ask us to move away from the fence.  We moved.  When they tried to move us from our regular position, we protested and they  gave in.  This is a new group of soldiers, not very efficient at their job at the checkpoint.  More than 80 people are waiting in line to go through (not usual at this hour) and it goes slowly.  At the beginning, only 2 inspection stations were operating;  after a while, a 3rd one opened.  We timed one man at 45 minutes for the passage.  At a certain stage, the soldiers tried to organize the line and closed the gate altogether.  But this took less than 5 minutes and then they opened the checkpoint again.  A number of elderly men were allowed to go through outside of the line, through the vehicles gate.  One man dropped a pack of cigarettes and they fell all over the road and a soldier helped pick them up - so that also can occur!  When we left, a little after 07:00, the line was still as long as when we arrived, which isn't generally the case;  usually the line is almost gone at this hour.

 

07:20 - Habla – There is a long line, relative to this location, which doesn't end until around the hour of the closing, 08:00.  The soldiers sometimes don't let people through because they are not satisfied with the line, which is disorderly, and then there are arguments.  But all these problems finally end when the gate closes quite late.  07:30 the girls' bus passes in the direction of Habla with no problem.  Then the shepherd arrives and tells us that there is a problem with the pump which was confiscated by the army.  We heard all the details of the incident from two nursery managers and from the man who operates the well which is now not operable. 

 

The Swedish government had contributed money to upgrade the wells in this area.  The nursery owners were happy at the possibility of upgrading the pumps from benzine to electricity - a savings of energy and more ecological.  We turned to the co-ordinator of operations, a man by the name of David, who confirmed that this is permissible, as it is not considered a new building but a repair/upgrade of something which already exists - remember, we are in Area C!  Since there was no electricity in the existing line coming from Qalqilya, they asked and were granted a permit to connect to the existing line which comes from Habla (beneath the patrol road and fence).  They did the preparation for the electric connection and brought a new pump in a truck and pipes in order, at the same time, to renew the 60 year old pipes.  On Thursday, Nevoani arrived - an officer from the civil administration and said that everything was fine;  after him, Haim arrived, who is responsible for infrastructure in the administration, and he also had no objection.  Then, on Thursday evening, Haim returned, along with people from the civil administration and the army, and confiscated the truck which was there, confiscated the new pump and pipes and took everything away with them.  The nursery owners who were around did not dare to interfere, out of fear of the soldiers.

 

And now - no pump, no water, and what should they do??  They still have a little water in their collection tank, but it will be gone today and then how will they water the plants?  Does anyone care?