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...
Beit Furik, Huwwara, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Salfit Checkpoint, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sat 21.4.12, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
Something new at the roadblock: Both of the yellow barriers (a 5 metre distance between them) are closed.
Just one soldier is present, and he is not at the roadblock but at the civilian guard post at the entrance to Ariel, 50 metres from the roadblock.
The gates (barriers) are electric and we see the soldier open and close them by pressing large switches on the wall of the civilian post.
When we arrived a car was waiting to leave Salfit.
The soldier left the guard post and went to the roadblock, took documents, returned to the post and spoke on the telephone.
An ambulance arrived to go into Salfit. The soldier opened the gates from a distance and the ambulance drove through.
The car also started to drive through and the soldier shouted and caught it between the arms (yes, just like the entrance to the Safari Park, into the lions' area…)
With hand signals from a distance he instructed the driver to reverse, the permit has not yet been received. From a distance, the acrobatics with the gates, the hand movements and the car appeared to be a real work of art.
Then three taxis arrived from both directions and the whole thing became very complicated. The soldier, alone for some reason, ran from the roadblock to the electric switch, and from there back to take documents, and back to the telephone… waving, arriving, walking, opening and closing.
The car crossed. The taxi waited over 5 minutes to enter.
The soldier checks absolutely every car and this takes a lot of time, much more than usual.
Totally void of police and soldiers.
In Huwwara village, by the falafel stand, there is a Border Police jeep.
There are no soldiers. The traffic is heavy.
The deep hole on the road has been repaired!
There is a roadblock!! We haven't seen a roadblock here for a long time.
A Border Police jeep is parked under the guard tower, they inspect only those entering.
When we arrived there were 9 cars in the queue, the first one was a taxi.
One soldier was with the documents from the taxi passengers, one was on the telephone.
Within a few minutes a third soldier got out of the jeep and waved the cars (now there are 13) through, leaving just two taxis and takes documents from the passengers.
The first taxi is released; a few more cars join the queue. The cars continue to be waved through.
A private taxi with three young passengers from Kartaat is also held up.
Two taxis are released. We also left.
Awarta roadblock is closed as usual.
At Huwwara even now (11:00 a.m.) there are no soldiers.
On Road 60 and afterwards on Road 55:
Westwards of Jit a police jeep stops vehicles randomly.
Opposite Azzun there is a military jeep at the observation point.
There is no traffic, the crossing is very quick.