'Azzun, Habla Checkpoint (1393)
Leora had organized a meeting with a Palestinian at Nabi Ilias for getting his signature, so we decided to add a vist to Azzun and Habla. The Palestinian didn't arrive, or cancelled, so we went straight to our friends in Azzun.
At the entrance to Azzun, there was a military jeep. The soldier waved his hand as though asking where we were going. I waved hello to him and we continued on our way. We were unloading crates in the shop and trying to help Z., whose hand is not in good shape. Maybe at his next visit to Hadassah the situation will improve. He said that disturbances are planned for tomorrow, Friday, because of what is happening on the Temple Mount. Meanwhile, the metal detectors have been disassembled and the prayers were renewed today. We hope that quiet will be maintained tomorrow.
The work on the road by-passing Nabi Ilias is going forward quickly. Soon the new road will be joined to the old. A lot of heavy machinery could be seen from the road.
At O's nursery, we heard that the DCO in Qalqiliya "opened the faucet" and is now giving more permits. A few of his workers had left, to his distress, to go work in Israel. It is hard for him to understand why. The work is harder here, the hours are longer, they have to get up early in the morning, go through the checkpoints, etc. But the total salary is highter. A. plans to submit a request for permits for 4 new workers. Meanwhile, family members are helping him.
We asked O. about the atmosphere in the area and what would be his opinion concerning tours there now. He said that traveling up to the area of the nurseries is no problem, but he could not take responsibility for going further East.
Habla: the checkpoint opened in time, 13:15. Inspection of a horse and wagon driver, loaded with things, particulalry used furniture. Will he get through or not? We have already witnessed soldiers who did not allow passage of furniture and other merchandise, since this is supposed to be an agricultural checkpoint. But, with a modicum of good will, they sometimes allow them and aren't so strict. The wagon owner went through into Habla.
There were also tractors and trucks full of plants on their way to the nurseries. Pededstrians were inspected in the booth on the right side. Car drivers were inspected by the military police in the booth on the left side. In this way, the line was shortened. At 13:45, everyone had gone through and the gate was still wide open.