'Azzun 'Atma, Habla

Ruthi Katz, Hanna Aviram, Dorit S. (guest) Johanna S. (guest)


‘Azzun ‘Atma (the new CP) Habla



This is the first time that we, Ruthi and Hanna, arrive at the ‘Azzun Atma barrier which has been set in the separation wall between the village and the lands belonging to its inhabitants. The ‘Azzun ‘Atma CP is different from the other fence CPs which we frequent, it being a very massive opaque metal unit. When the CP is closed, there is a very claustrophobic feeling due to its impermeability ( double meaning), even for someone who stands on the side where Israeli citizens (still?) enjoy freedom of movement. 

06.00 – ‘Azzun ‘Atma. Second lieutenant K.M.Z. comes up to us. 'Ahh, you are Machsom Watch…."


We wait until the CP is opened. There is silence at the beginning. But when we talk near the CP the outcry of those who are waiting beyond the wall rises: "don't you open today???" not yet. "The scout  has not yet arrived". The soldiers mount to the observation post which rises upwards.


06.20. The scout has arrived. The metal barrier is being shifted and a dazzling light erupts from the east. The lucky ones who have passes gather near a military vehicle and one of the soldiers reads out loud the identification details of the people who stand in line next to him. A  car  is faltering  up the very steep dirt track, in the middle of which the barrier rises up. After its passengers have been checked it turns northwards on the asphalt road adjacent to the wall. A flock of sheep  passes and turns westwards.


06.40 –Checking of the people passing is over. The barrier is closed.


07.00 Habla. On the side of the exit from the CP people are waiting.

07.08 – A military vehicle arrives; some time later second lieutenant A. and his soldiers, whom we have met before at the ‘Azzun ‘Atma CP, arrive.

A Qalqiliya resident who had passed at the Sha'ar Shomron CP and who is waiting for workers, shares with us his feeling that the passage through the CP "is like sheep".


There are not many people waiting to get out, but on the other hand there is a long line of cars and the checking is slow. Later,  in a conversation with A., he told us that when they complained to A. both are A.????? he told them that the reason was the computer, and added, (in jest of course) "let everybody put 10 shekel and we shall buy a new computer"…


The teachers came late out of the CP, they were waiting for the checking of the bus which will later return with pupils. So the bus which returned with students learning at Habla also arrived late, after  08:00. Will the pupils be reprimanded for being late?