'Azzun 'Atma, 'Izbat Salman North checkpoint 1419, Habla Checkpoint (1393)
Agricultural CPs Oranit and Habla
We arrived early at the Oranit zone and drove in the direction of the fields and the hothouses to visit Palestinians who we had met in the past.
We met a large group of farmers from Azzun Atma who were waiting for the opening of the Oranit 1443 CP.
One told us that he passes in the morning at the Abu Salman – 1419 CP as it is opened in the morning at 05:45, whereas the Oranit CP is opened at 08:00 only. From there, in order to reach their plots they drive on the System Road (which is now forbidden for us).
During one of the former shifts the Palestinians we me complained that the Abu Salman CP wasn’t opened anymore. According to this man the CP has been reopened about a month ago, all the better. Every morning about 15 Palestinians pass over at Abu Salman together with him.
A settler from Oranit joined us, a bored retired person who has no idea that he is living in a settlement, on private lands belonging to Palestinians. A discussion conducted in a pleasant mood begins. Everybody tells how many lands his family has and how much land was robbed from them. The settlers is convinced all the lands were bought from the Palestinians. That there was no robbery. All the area is a demilitarized area. Hello, Mr. Settler, to whom does the demilitarized area belong?? The discussion continues, but does not become heated. The Palestinians are hospitable, act politely and offer fragrant tea.
One tells the well known story. His father who is 60 years old, has 30 dunams which he doesn’t process as the permit to reach his plots is made out to him only and not to any of his children, and he cannot work by himself.
And this is how the unprocessed field looks like:
And next to it is the hothouse which was once active, and looks today like this:
We drive to the Oranit CP 1443
The crew arrives and the gate is opened at 12:50
And when the crew is humane and the attitude is pleasant the checking and the passage are performed in a good mood, and there is no mention of our stay in the area. We knew differed times here.
This is the landscape one can see behind the wall when the grey gate is opened:
We leave and speed to Habla – CP 1393
A happy meeting with Fathiya and Carol. They continue eastwards while we stay.
A Palestinian waits with a cart loaded with pieces of furniture. In former instances, when people tried to pass clothes or furniture by the gate, this was forbidden – claiming that this is an agricultural gate. But as I pointed out above this is a crew of people who came to perform a duty, not to abose others. The man, the cart and the horse pass without any problem.
At Habla the traffic is especially lively.
Leaving: 8 tenders, 8 horse drawn carts, 5 tractors, 7 private czars and 8 pedestrians.
Entering: 1 tractor, 2 tenders, a private car, 2 women and 1 bicycle driver.
All this big collection is being conducted by a volunteer usher. When he finishes he enters his car and drives on his way.
The Palestinian with the furniture passes without problems
The head of the Habla council passes in his car. His car is decorated by flags in view of the oncoming elections, and the ribbons remained from a family wedding a few days ago.