'Azzun 'Atma, Deir Ballut, Wed 6.8.08, Afternoon

Observers: 
Hagar L, Karin L (reporting)
Aug-6-2008
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Afternoon

17:15 Deir Ballut Checkpoint - not manned.

17:25 Azzun Atma Checkpoint

Ten cars and an old man on a donkey from the direction of the West Bank, waiting to be checked at the entrance to the village.

We approached the checkpoint, and even passed the yellow gate to try and count the long line of cars curving around the sloping road at the exit from the village. A commander prevented us from crossing to the other side, or even standing between the checking stations, and declared that these few metres are his private territory and, after two minutes while talking/arguing with us the yellow gate was closed in order that everyone should understand who was causing delays here.

We went out beyond the gate, which immediately opened. Despite the pre4sence of more than ten soldiers on the ground, only cars from the West Bank side were being checked. On the other side the number in line mounted from 12 to 20.

Five pedestrians were checked and passed through, one by one.

17:50 - a phone call to the Centre to complain about the situation perhaps caused them to speed up. The line ended and they began to deal with outbound cars.

Again a line of ten pedestrians coming out of the village, mostly getting rides in the cars being passed through relatively quickly, but at any given moment between 5-10 pedestrians waiting.

18:10 - again two cars are passed through to the village, and they go back to dealing with the outbound traffic.

18:30 Jalud Checkpoint

The southern exit from Qalqiliya. Four cars in line, each being checked including passenger IDs. In response to Hagar's question why they are checking travellers from the West Bank to Qalqiliya, which is also Palestine, the answer was that it is order to prevent drug smuggling...

18:45 - Azzun with open passages.