'Azzun 'Atma, Thu 13.11.08, Afternoon
we neared the checkpoint we saw two Palestinians sitting next to the
soldiers and another being seated at their side. A few minutes later
they were freed. Afterwards during the time that we were there no one
else was detained. This happens time and again. When we get to the
checkpoint there are always detainees and while we are there no other
people are so detained. The checkpoint as usual stinks because of the
filth which runs at the side of the mounds on the road on which cars
have to travel and people walk. Around the armoured hut are fences and
electric doors. On the first gate is a sign which tells those arriving
to call to the guard in the sentry tower when necessary. That is when
the checkpoint is closed. The sentry tower is 15 meters away and the
Palestinians say that the soldiers do not come out after 10 at night
when the checkpoint is closed. And if they do it is only if there is an
emergency. All other residents are locked in the ghetto and Azzun Atma.
The soldiers show with a motion of the finger that the baggage
compartment has to be opened and the bags that they want to inspect.
There is an argument between a soldier and the owner of a car who
wants to take plastic containers (olive oil?) and the end of the
argument is "I have decided to forbid it" but in the end he is allowed
To celebrate a wedding here in Azzun Atma one needs a permit from the
DCO. From the time of our arrival a truck with people and musical
instruments for the wedding the next day is parked at the side. The
celebrations begin today and though those celebrating asked for a
permit for them to pass and the official celebration is only tomorrow
they have waited an hour. Telephones and arguments and after an hour
they go through. In the morning people tell of the lines when there is
rain and everyone is soaked and nowhere to shelter. A brain damaged man
wants to pass and the soldiers do not understand him nor he they and
there is no one to explain.
26 years old goes between the holes in high heeled shoes. She has to
leave the car as is customary and pass the examinations while her
husband and son go through,. Sometimes the children also are sent out.
While she waits (15 minutes) she tells little stories. How after she
had had her first child her parents who lived in the next village were
not allowed to visit her ( because only those in the village can go in)
. How one day they ran out of gas on the way home and came an hour late
and begged to be allowed to pass and were not allowed to.
17.53 We left.