'Azzun 'Atma, Habla
Observers: Shoshana Z., Nina S., Translator: Judith Green
News,News! The electric pump in the well of the Habla checkpoint is in operation! Everything else is as usual.
06:10 'Azzun 'Atma
A lot of vehicles waiting outside and a few workers. About 70 workers in line, unlike recent days, perhaps because of a different way of behaving at the checkpoint (reserve soldiers); and this is despite the operation of 3 inspection booths. The checkpoint commander tries to get push us back, but, after some discussion he gave in to our demand to observe as is our right.
A man is detained by the side. His story is that he had a work permit for work in Israel for the whole week but he went by a hole in the fence and was caught. The soldiers claim that he was caught going through the fence even though he has a permit and, after some clarifications, they discover that he had already done this, and been caught, several times. This time he emphasized that he was determined not to wait in line. His employer arrived and is angry with him; he tries to reason with the soldiers and, by the time we left he was not yet freed. One must keep order. At a certain point, the line was very crowded and noisy but this situation calmed down and by 07:00 the line was still relatively long, but without pushing. One man whom we timed went through in half an hour.
In the shed of the man who does ironing, on the Israeli side of the checkpoint,the man was already working when we arrived. That is how it is during Ramadan, begin work early and end early.
The vehicles gate is wide open and everyone goes through it. Neverthless, the inspection booth is locked and the inspection is carried out by hand in a shed belonging to the guards. A group of 5 is sent in together from the gate on the Palestinian side, to be inspected and pass through. It is all going smoothly and the passage is quick. There is a line of 20-30 people all the time, until closing. The sheep arrived as usual, with the blond-haired shepherd, a cute boy of about 12. At about 8 the nursery vehicles go through, along with others; by 08:06, they are all gone. The soldiers even went over to the other side of the fence to check if there was anybody left on the way to the gate; then the gates closed.
We decided not to go any further into the West Bank because of the security situation.