Eyal checkpoint, Azzun. First you pay, then you'll get permission to work

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Aviva K. (photographing), Rachel A. (reporting) Translator: Charles K.

05:15  Qalqilya checkpoint

20,000 workers cross to Israel on Sunday.  Workers are flowing  past the stands set up in the morning.  Both sides of the road are lined with sellers of baked goods, pitas, pizzas, cigarettes, coffee and anything that can be sold in the morning.  Everything goes fluidly and quickly.

We spoke with the workers: 

The serious and frustrating problem is how much they must pay the employer for their job in Israel: NIS 2500 - 3000 for workers who aren’t hired directly by the employer.

A young man, a certified high-tension electrician, told us soldiers enter Qalqilya nightly, come into the streets, the homes, observe from rooftops, sometimes they throw grenades into the street in response to stone throwing.  A cat-and-mouse game that neither the children nor the soldiers can refrain from engaging in.  And other damage caused by the occupation:  if you don’t have a car it’s difficult to get from place to place.

In general, despite the large crowds, there was a calm atmosphere of business as usual.  The line moved quickly.  I also spoke with people keeping order within who said the Israeli side is very crowded because the buses are delayed. 

This time we noticed that when driving north from Route 55, there is a checkpoint where ordinary Israelis can not reach Zufin. The checkpoint is open only to residents of Zufin.

An arm's barrier blocks the entrance to Azzun
The entrance to Azzun is blocked by an arm's barrier and an army jeep
Vivi Konforty