'Azzun 'Atma, Habla
On our way to the village we saw construction of the wall had continued; it seems to have reached Oranit settlement.
06:00 The gate was closed when we arrived; it opened a few minutes later.
About 80 people were crowded together on line and ten more stood off to the side (perhaps because they didn’t want to push into the line). Some try to enter or to butt into line. The line doesn’t move, people yell, so the MP shuts the entrance; more people arrive, the line get longer.
We spoke to a laborer who waited for his friends. He said the checkpoint had opened at 05:15 instead of at 05:00, which already caused congestion. The elderly don’t have to wait on line, but the cut-off age changes arbitrarily. He’s on his way to work his land but must go through the checkpoint even though he can reach it directly because must have his papers stamped.
Nora approaches the crowd to photograph but a soldier tells her to move back.
Bottom line: Inspections today at the checkpoint were accompanied by the MP’s yelling, frequent closing of the entrance, laborers required to remove belts and empty pockets. The soldiers in charge of the crossing, especially the sergeant, lord it over the Palestinians in a very annoying manner.
We left at 06:45; the line was still long (Nava Eisen and a colleague who’d arrived at that moment remained at the checkpoint; we went to Habla).
Habla 07:05 The checkpoint opened at 06:45. There’s no line at the moment; people enter for inspection as soon as they arrive. We asked one of the laborers why; he said it’s because fewer permits have been granted. The school bus leaves Habla empty (we were told it had been inspected before it left), returns shortly with the children and enters without being inspected. Meanwhile, 30 people are already on line.
Lieutenant S., from the Efrayim DCL, approaches us accompanied by A., another lieutenant. We complained about the situation at Irtah; he said they’re trying hard to improve things and the problem is the behavior of the Palestinians on line. Regarding the soldiers’ behavior at the checkpoints, he said he removes soldiers who don’t act properly. We also told him about the serious problems we’d seen this morning at ‘Azzun ‘Atma.