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Observers: 
Iris S., Pitzi S., Vivi K., Nurit P. (photographing and reporting). Translator: Charles K.
Jan-4-2016
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Morning

 

Afternoon, ‘Atil checkpoint (609) opens on time.  A group of soldiers man it.  Few people are crossing.  Deir el-Ghusun checkpoint is closed.  No one is waiting.

The goal of our shift was to reach the Zeita, 609 and 623 checkpoints from the Israeli side in the afternoon, and speak to Palestinians before they go through the checkpoint.

 

Zeita checkpoint – 564

It’s supposed to be open for 15 minutes: 12:15-12:30 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  When we arrived, a few minutes late, the gate was closed and the entire area was deserted.  The route to the checkpoint from the Israeli side is a little complicated because of road works underway in the area.  The owner of a plant nursery we met at the entrance to nearby Magal said the gate is always closed.  During a previous visit to the Zeita municipality, members of Machsom Watch were told the hours the checkpoint opened were “flexible.”  It’s not possible to know when it opens.  We recommend following up.

 

Atil 04012016

 

‘Atil checkpoint – 609

The checkpoint apparently opened on time, at 12:45.  When we arrived at 12:50 it was already open.  The path to the checkpoint is muddy and waterlogged.  We approached on foot.  We wondered why they don’t spread gravel to make walking easier.  A group of soldiers stood within the checkpoint, between the gatesinfo-icon to the Israeli and Palestinian sides.  They welcomed us with smiles.  It didn’t bother them that we photographed the checkpoint.  When they understood what we were doing - Palestinian-lovers - they pulled out their cellphones, took our pictures and yelled loudly, “Israel-haters.” 

A tractor loaded with equipment arrived at the checkpoint and crossed to the other side with no problems.  About 15 minutes later a Palestinian coming from the direction of Ibsan arrived on foot along the muddy track next to the fence.

 

Deir el-Ghusun checkpoint – 623

It is supposed to open at 13:30.  We arrived on time and waited for 15 minutes.  The checkpoint was closed.  We saw neither people nor vehicles near the checkpoint.  We were surprised, because the report from 30.12.15 indicated that this checkpoint opened right on time at 13:30 and there were many people on foot and 10 tractors.

 

Attached:  A map of the area and photos of the checkpoints.