Habla

Place: 
Observers: 
Ora S., Karin L. (reporting). Translator: Charles K.
Mar-28-2017
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Afternoon

The gate is closed, only one person waits beside the low concrete wall at the entrance to the security road.  Two minutes later three donkey carts gallop up carrying mostly very young men. Two of them continue north on the security road to their land, according to those in the cart who remained behind to wait for the gate to open.  A few more individuals arrive from the direction of Oranit; a tractor comes on the security road from the north, and then another one, pulling a wagon with a few youths and a woman.

12:45  A white car with civilian plates arrives, five (male and female) MPs emerge and quickly open the large gate, dragging it back towards the separation wall.  Those who crosses show their permits and their IDs.  Some youths had only an ID; they were recorded in the computer. All those crossing, about 30 in number, live in Azzun Atma.

We expected also to see farmers from Khirbet Salman because their gate is no longer open, and the one farther north, near them (Jalud), doesn’t open in the afternoon, but they didn’t show up.

12:58  No more people on the horizon; the gate closes.

13:20  Habla checkpoint (1393)

The gate is already open and a huge truck goes through toward Habla, followed by a tractor.  The entire time we stood at the checkpoint a slow but steady stream of people had gone through, mostly from the direction of Habla, but occasionally in the opposite direction. People on foot (who reentered vehicles from which they’d emerged at the entrance to the checkpoint, or were picked up by others), donkey and horse carts, tractors, private cars and many trucks.  The pedestrian gate was closed.  A soldier opened the large gate for each vehicle, and even for people going through on foot, and closed it after each one.  They all seem used to the routine that requires Palestinians going to and from their lands to cross during the times set by the army.

We met a young woman from ‘Arab a-Ramadin who spoke English well.  She was trying to get a ride to Nabi Ilyas.  She’s a teacher’s aide in a school in Nabi Ilyas, helping children who have difficulties, after six years of university education.