Since 2001 we have observed dozens of army checkpoints on paved and unpaved roads in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and along the Separation Fence; Civil Administration offices which grant permits to Palestinians; and military courts trying Palestinian prisoners. We stand at the checkpoints observing the behavior of soldiers and Palestinians without interfering, intervening only when soldiers behave offensively to Palestinians. Then we try to speak to the soldiers themselves or telephone...
'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 2.8.12, Morning
The checkpoint is at the crossroads of Route 60 and the road leadint to Huwwara.
Translator: Charles K.
The cut in the defense budget is already felt here – very few soldiers around.
06:20 Azzun Atma: The checkpoint opened late this morning despite Ramadan. The soldiers say the delay was only ten minutes. A congested line of more than 70 laborers at the checkpoint. Only the computerized inspection stations are operating. The MP’s don’t open a manual inspection station because they say there aren’t enough soldiers. The soldiers ask us to speak to them “upstairs” so they’ll be allocated more manpower to open additional inspection stations. Is that how they see our role – to improve the checkpoints?
The laborers report waiting more than an hour.
We saw no laborers coming from the direction of the agricultural gate.
06:30 Shomron crossing: No police at the exit from Israel. An additional lane has been paved going east.
On the way we passed a transporter taking a large prefabricated structure to the settlements.
06:50 Za’tara/Tapuach: No soldiers at the stations. Light traffic on the road.
Yitzhar/Burin checkpoint: No military activity
07:00 Awarta: The yellow bar is still locked, blocking passage.
07:20 Beit Furik: No soldiers; traffic flows. We didn’t see a soldier in the tower.
07:25 Huwwara: We didn’t see soldiers in the area of the checkpoint.
A soldier at the road up to Beracha settlement. No soldier at the hitchhiking location on the other side of the road.
Burin/Yitzhar:No military activity
The town of Huwwarastill slumbers on the verge of an additional day of oppressive heat and a lengthy fast. All the shops are closed.
07:35 Za’tara/Tapuach: No soldiers in position; traffic is unobstructed. Large signs on the fence: “Mitzpeh Keramim is accepting families” calling for more settlers.
Many buses at the Shomron crossing.