'Azzun 'Atma, Sun 7.9.08, Morning

Edna L., Ditsa Y. (reporting); Translation: Galia S.
Seriously? Does this make us safer?


Azzun Atme


05:40 – Up there, near the concrete blocks, furious Palestinians approach us claiming that the soldiers have opened the checkpoint only now (instead of 04:00 as they should have).


05:45 – at the checkpoint – We go toward the exit gate from the checkpoint to the territories. Many Palestinians are in line.


We have just started walking along the net-fenced path when the checkpoint commander approaches us and insists that we leave. We argue that we have the permission to stand there but to no avail. He drives us out to stand at a distance of some 300 meters away from the checkpoint, where all we can do is ask those who are leaving how long they have been waiting at the checkpoint. The people who pass here also complain that only now have they opened the checkpoint for pedestrians.


06:00 – We call the DCO [District Coordination Office] in Qalqiliya, where they promise to clarify the matter. We involve Tami C. in this and she promises to send this report to the brigade commander of Qalqiliya.


06:20 – Five cars are in line waiting to leave Azzun Atme to the territories. For some reason, they wait 15 minutes. We can't see why, because when they are allowed to pass, they are not checked at all. But then the army has logic of its own.


People who leave the checkpoint tell us that they have been staying there for an hour and a half. It is noteworthy that we have asked about 5-6 people who have come out of the checking at different times and they have all said the same thing, that is to say, waiting time of an hour and a half. One of them has claimed that there are about 150 people in line. People who are over 50 pass without waiting in line.


06:45 – We leave the checkpoint.


P.S.     I'd like to add an important detail that slipped my mind.

The taxi driver who drove us to the checkpoint asked us to get out a few meters before the checkpoint, where the soldiers cannot see us getting out of his taxi, because, he said, another taxi driver who had our women was detained for two hours for taking them.