'Azzun 'Atma, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla
‘Azzun ‘Atma, Habla, Sha'ar Eliyahu, Mon. AM, 12.1.15
Observers: Shoshana Z., Nina S. (reporting)
‘Azzun checkpoint is not in good shape, long lines, shouting and bad feelings and Military Police who don't manage the place properly and close the gates every once in a while as a punishment or a means to bring order, whatever the results may be.
06:10 ‘Azzun ‘Atma
About 100 men in line and another 30 crowded around the vehicles’ gate, very few still waiting outside, where there are lots of vehicles waiting for their workers who have not yet gone through. All the time that we were there the Military Police were not managing the place efficiently and, at the beginning, there were only 2 booths in operation. After our complaints at the DCO, another stand was added. The excuses at the beginning were that the passage was slow because of the computers, but it seemed as though the inspectors were simply not doing their job and some of the time it seemed that the Military Police at the inspection stands were just chatting among themselves and not doing the inspection. At a certain stage there were bad feelings, arguments, climbing over the lines, shouting and a lot of noise; then they didn't let people through at all. The excuse: we can't let them through because they are pushing on the turnstile. Part of the time they were letting the "elders" through the vehicles’ gate, which they could have been doing all the time.
At about 07:00 the lines decreased a bit, but there were still about 60 people waiting in the different lines when, at this hour, there is usually almost no one left. The soldiers told us that they heard from their officer that next week the checkpoint would be closed, although the fence is still not entirely ready. We ask everyone who is coming there to take the telephone numbers from the residents of ‘Azzun ‘Atma so we can check before our arrival if the checkpoint is actually closed or not.
There is a line but this is the hour when there is generally a long line, right before the closing. The soldiers speed up the passage by doing hand inspections of the documents of some of those in line.
Everyone is through and the soldiers begin to close the gates, when 2 more wagons arrive and a number of pedestrians, but they don't pay attention to their needs and the gates are closed in their faces.
On the Israeli side of the checkpoint, a sorrowful horse is tied up and the soldiers do not allow its owner to take it through to Habla, so it is left tied up to the fence.
08:10 Eliyahu Gate
There are vehicles in inspection, of course. No pedestrians at the checkpoint.