Azzun, visit Umar’s plant nursery

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Place: 
Observers: 
Rachel A., Annaline K. Translator: Charles K.
Oct-11-2022
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Morning

We drove to Azzun to bring merchandise to the shop.  Annaline’s car was filled with a small refrigerator, kitchen implements, clothing, etc.

Little Kusi waited for us to arrive because the others had already left home.  We arrived.

Zufim presence is obvious on the way to Azzun.  It’s gradually spreading out over the entire hilltop, and the slopes are filled with excavated terraces, apparently intended for the construction of houses.

Widening of the road beyond the Eliyahu checkpoint by adding lanes has been completed, and instead of the plaza that allowed entry to and exit from Qalqilya to Highway 55 there’s now a new traffic light controlling traffic.  The bridge over Highway 6 has also opened; it’s become a continuation of Highway 55 northward to Tayibe with four lanes being paved on Highway 444 that shorten the distance and allow more direct access to the Qalqilya checkpoint and also to the Tayibe-Sha’ar Efrayim-Irtach checkpoint.

For some reason, there’s a traffic jam before Irtach for those traveling toward Israel.  We don’t understand why.

There’s also a solid white line on each side of the road that prevents left or right turns.

We tried to reach Umar from the east, heading west.  We looked for the first possible left turn, which was located only at the gas station within Israeli territory.  Similarly, someone traveling east who wishes to make a left turn must drive to the gas station at Alfei Menasheh.  And there are so many plant nurseries we can’t imagine how they’re able to make a living.  This is the third time I’ve written that.

Umar said he’s raised the issue with the police.  He has a permit to reach the plant nursery with a vehicle but to return he must cross to the Israeli side, which he’s forbidden to do or to break the law by crossing the white line.  He asked the police officers, who didn’t have an answer.  They only shrugged.