Because of the many cases of abuse against Palesinians at this
checkpoint, which is visited by few of us, we decide to show our
presence. For those of us exiting Hawara this is but a short detour. If
one does not remain for long it takes 20-30 minutes at most.
From Route 5, beyond Kefar Kasem and before Shomron Gates
, we left
the road, and followed the sign to "Shaarei Tikva". We parked by the
green houses and "Meskha Marble". We crossed the road, where the
workers are waiting for their empoyers, to be driven to their work
places. Beyond the boulders that prevent the exit of cars from the
village, there is a parking lot. Every driver is willing to take us to
the checkpoint (about 2 KMs away) for a fee (8 IS).
07:00 - 07:30 Azzun- Atme Checkpoint
At this hour mainly pedestrians enter Azzun-Atme. These are land
owners from the enclave, who hold agricultural permits, as well as
workers with permits to work in the settlements in the region. They
stand in a line within a fenced yard, queuing for an inspection of
their papers and bags as well as for a physical inspection inside an
enclosed structure. We watch them from across the fence. One of them, a
50 years old man expresses the humiliation of the situation: "Look at
us , we are like sheep, like in a zoo, standing... people need permits
to work their own land, theirs for many generations... soon we'll need
a permit to sleep with the wife."
A group of children from the neighbouring village from across the
fence, Beit Amin, enter in the direction of the Azzun-Atme school,
which is a joint school for both villages. They are not inspected.
The soldiers, and their female commander, treat the Palestinians,
and us, with politeness and consideration. This is a huge difference in
comparison to the behaviour of the unit which was there before, which
was reponsible for the beatings, humiliations, a birth by the
checkpoint at night, and this is just a part of the things we found out
about. Who knows how much we have not heard about.
An elderly couple in a horse and cart go through without
inspection. The commander knows the inhabitants of the village and is
convinced that there are good relations between them and the soldiers
(friendship between a horse and its rider?)