Azzun, Habla - "The soldiers are really not nice"

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Pitzi S. and Shoshi A. (photos and report) Translation: Danah E.

At the entrance to road 55, north of the new square, there’s a road that leads to a new checkpoint, an entrance and exit to and from Qalqilya.

According to A., Our friend from the nursery, sometimes it’s opened and sometimes closed. Passage there is unreliable.

At the entrance to ‘Azzun, the road is being widened.  A military vehicle is parked there monitoring the traffic. As we film the road-works, one of the workers, an Israeli, approaches us and questions us about who we are, what we are doing there, and why we’re filming.  As a matter of principle, we refuse to give him details and content ourselves with vague answers. It is mainly important for him to know where we are from. When we start driving towards ‘Azzun, he shouts after us - be careful, this is enemy territory.

It is quiet in ‘Azzun. We unload at Z's. the packages to his store.  Z is at work. It’s not clear how he manages transport to work in the center of the country, but the scooter is parked near his house, and he had told Shoshi that he travels by bus.

His young son helps unload from the car.  Suhad comes out and invites us inside for Coffee, but we want to get to the Habla checkpoint when it is open, so we politely decline, and say "Salaam Alai Abuk".

The Habla checkpoint was opened on time at 13:20

The Habla checkpoint is open from 1:20 p.m. to 1:40 p.m.  According to A. The soldiers who are currently there are really not nice, to say the least.

The traffic at the gate is brisk. Many vehicles transport goods to the nurseries, and many workers enter as well. There is also movement into Habla, here too saplings are being transported, it is not clear where to. The passers-by greet us kindly. The soldiers ignore us. The small gate to the left of the entrance gate to Habla is still missing. To my query, the soldier replies that it doesn't matter, because the other gate is closed. And I think this is a hole that calls out to the undocumented workers.

There are no more breaches in the fence. Barbed wire fences everywhere seal off the passages.

In our conversation with Omar, he says that they have tightened the requirements at the checkpoint, they even ask children for a photo ID, and most of the passersby do not have one. And according to him, the soldier-girl speaks rudely, and he adds:  If she were beautiful at least…