Wednesday night, the village of Azzoun once again was set under military curfew. Around 7pm the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) entered the village with approximately five vehicles, forcing the shops to close early and the people to evacuate the streets. Military vehicles drove up and down the streets, announcing their presence by firing sound bombs and flares as they declared over loudspeakers that the village was under curfew.
Earlier the same day, villagers spontaneously removed the concrete roadblock by the main village entrance. With the help of a truck, villagers pushed and laboured to move one of the many stone blocks, with the end result that for about one hour they were able to enter and exit the village as they wished, a novelty in a region which suffers regular roadblocks at the various exits from the villages.
On Thursday many of the villagers seemed to conclude that the removal of the roadblock was used this time as the pretext for the IOF to invade and collectively punish the village. Yet, the people of Azzoun concede that if it wasn’t for the removal of the roadblock, the IOF would have then come up with another excuse to continue on their path of collective punishment.
A partial roadblock removal at neighbouring Izbat at Tabib the same day was met with IOF aggression in the form of sound bombs and the threat of further army violence. Israeli soldiers later replaced the portion of the roadblock which had been moved, further fortifying the blockade with more dirt and gravel. An elderly man crossing over the mound asked the same question villagers of Izbat at Tabib and other like blocked-off villages: “Why do they block our roads? Why do they block access to our villages?” Long accustomed to such impediments, the villagers nonetheless are determined to resist being caged in their villages and pledge to continue removing the roadblocks.