'Azzun 'Atma, Sun 31.8.08, Morning

Observers: 
Ada H., Rina Z.; Translator: Orna B.
31/08/2008
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Morning
5:20 
People already waiting by the road to the Tikva Gatesinfo-icon, having passed the road block and the village,  said that today the checkpoint is ok.

 
And indeed all is clam. The checkpoint commander, Lieutenant E., and the rest of the soldiers greet uswarmly and wonder why we are so late. Today the checkpoint opened at 4:30.

 
Pedestrians walk freelly through the carousel, and behind it not even 10 people are waiting, as compared with the dozens or even hundreds we had seen on other days at this time, with all the nerves and anger that builds up with it. Cars too, which are checked at the same time, go through and no more than two cars are waiting in the queue.
 
We thanked Eyal for the calm and efficient handling of the situation. He insisted that we mention that they are the Shavit unit.
Nevertheless, it is possible that today there are less people passing because of the Ramadan which apparently is due to start tomorrow.
We also saw a transit van in the opposite direction - taking workers from Azoon Athma to work in Bidiya.
The blue police roadblock at the junction where the road from the Tikva Gates joins Road no 5. In front of us a transit van bearing a Palestinian number plate, with passengers, was stopped. We had nowhere to stop our car so we could not see what was done to them.