'Azzun 'Atma, Habla

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Rachel A., Nina S. (reporting), Translator: Charles K.

'Azzun 'Atma, Habla


The coffee children are here, happily selling at the ‘Azzun ‘Atma checkpoint.  At Habla, on the other hand, the business of the well still isn’t settled.  The well is operating, but again with a  pump running on diesel fuel.  Details follow.


06:20  ‘Azzun ‘Atma.  Few people wait outside and there’s no line at the checkpoint – whoever arrives goes through.  There are three inspection booths; relaxed reservists.  It’s strange why so few people are here, but the locals we asked couldn’t explain.  The checkpoint at the northern end of the village (at the entrance) is operating and they say it’s not crowded, so everyone with a work permit for the seam zone can cross there.


07:05  Habla.  We entered the village to see the well whose pump makes a tremendous noise and discovered to our amazement that the Kafkaesque story isn’t over.  The pump is again a diesel pump that appears second-hand, next to an old diesel pump that’s not connected.  Later, when ‘Abed arrived, he explained.  They’d connected the electric pump for one day (the one we’d seen working three weeks earlier on our previous visit) and disconnected it again because they didn’t have a permit from the electricity authority, and had connected it only to check that it was operating properly.  The authority (someone named Haim) doesn’t allow them to operate the electric pump – apparently he claims the electrical connections are sub-standard.  But, says ‘Abed, they’d obtained all the documents from the electrical engineers confirming that the hookup was according to the regulations.  So ‘Abed brought an old diesel pump (the local pump was already destroyed) and now they have a pump but also terrible pollution.  ‘Abed said the Swedes had donated diesel fuel to run the pump for four months – apparently hoping by then the authority will nevertheless have approved the electric pump.


The checkpoint’s operating in a relaxed manner, a flock of sheep goes through, also people, and there were no lines while we were there until the gatesinfo-icon closed at 07:59.  The security road alongside the fence has been marked by a white line down its center – it’s really important that the few patrols going by not change lanes.  So the army has something on which to spend the money from the Ministry of Defense, whose budget is insufficient…