'Azzun, 'Azzun 'Atma, 'Izbet alTabib, Habla

Observers: 
Shoshana Z., two guests from England, Nina S. (reporting),Translator: Charles K.
Dec-15-2014
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Morning

 

‘Azzun ‘Atma, Habla, Shufa

 

06:15  ‘Azzun ‘Atma

The three boys selling coffee are here today but they apparently had gone through the fence because they were later sent back unceremoniously to ‘Azzun ‘Atma.  There’s a military unit here that isn’t particularly welcoming, along with a female MP who runs the checkpoint imperiously;  get organized, straighten the line, move back, and from time to time the revolving gate closes “until you line up.”  The crossing goes slowly; a man we timed took 40 minutes to go through, and the soldiers’ behavior makes the line grow longer; loud, very bitter complaints came from those waiting.  We were also warned repeatedly not to approach and when Shoshana left the sidewalk, on which we stood, the “boss” arrived immediately and made her get back up.

 

After we contacted the Sufa DCL because the revolving gate was repeatedly closed, the “boss” and an MP backing her up came to tell us we’re interfering and complaining to the DCL won’t help.  An additional complaint to the DCL (to Suzi, an officer) and, wonder of wonders, suddenly the checkpoint began to operate differently and the crossing became fast and uncomplicated.

 

Only two inspection stations are open.  Towards 07:00 the line began to shorten but still consisted of around 30 people; by 07:00 the numbers are  usually negligible.

 

Soldiers caught a person in Israel illegally while we were there and sat him on the side, and then went “hunting” and returned with three people who’d gone through the fence.

 

We and our guests went through to see Hani’s trapped home, and then continued to Habla.

 

07:40  Habla. It is quiet, pastoral, crossing goes smoothly, the gate closes exactly at 08:00.

 

08:30  ‘Izbet Tabib.  We met the school principal next to the protest tent.  We were told that this afternoon a large demonstration will be held in all the nearby towns to protest the death of Abu Ein, the minister.  They’re convinced the soldiers’ violence caused his death.  Even if he died from a heart attack, they believe it was caused by the soldiers’ violence.

 

We stopped in ‘Azzun to visit Z., our acquaintance.  Soldiers are observing at the main entrance to ‘Azzun.

 

09:50  Shufa

There has been a manned checkpoint for a few months between Shufa and ‘Izbet Shufa.  The soldiers say that it’s used by residents of Shufa and ‘Izbet Shufa, but others aren’t permitted to go through and must use the Tulkarm road, a very long detour.  A., our friend, was there on his donkey; we had to disappoint him, telling him we aren’t able to intervene regarding the checkpoint (we’d tried) because their lawyer and the humanitarian office are handling the issue.