Habla Checkpoint (1393) - The frustration of the Palestinians and the seriousness of the DCO officer
Opening hours: 16:30 - 17:10
First, we visited Z. in Azun, Nina brought him all sorts of goodies. He received everything with joy and we were invited to drink coffee, which his wife brought. He feels well and is supposed to travel tomorrow to Nazareth to talk at a doctor's conference about his operation and to describe his present state of health. He looks really well and happy.
16:20 We arrived and saw people waiting: a few youths gathered together and, in the shed, a few adults were sitting and 2 women. Nina sat down next to the women and they told her that they had opened the gate late today, at 7:40 instead of 7:00. One of the women complained that her sons can't find work (because of the disastrous state of economy in the PA) and are sitting at home. Many of the young men in the West Gank, she says, are not working, and she also complained thatthey can't get a work permit in Israel and feel a growing despair because of this. They also can't marry because they aren't earning a living; if they were married, they would receive a work permiot - so one problem feeds into the other.
16:27 They open the gate leading to Habla and half of the gate for the exit from Habla. One of those going througth turns to Nina: he has a work permit both for work in Israel and in his lands. The second permit to work in the seam area - his fields, was taken from him, while crossing into Israel is still permitted. He wants to find out what happened and to get back his permit to work his fields. Nina gives him the telephone of Sylvia and the hours that she is available. A. organizes those going through and the passage goes on in an efficient manner.
We met Lieutenant Shadi, the local DCO officer. He told us that he read our website and is sure that we sometimes exaggerate. Nevertheless, he takes the reports seriously. This morning, he explained, the opening of the gate was delayed because of "the situation". It seems as though everyone there knows Shadi and his assistant, Ichsan, who came with him, and they know everybody.. Shadi promised to send Nina the hours of the opening of the gates in the Qalqilya area.
Many people are passing through all the time, vehicles, a lot of vehicles.
16:55 The stream of people thins out and A. organizes the passage of people.