The army doesn't stop and check cars traveling on Route 60. According to a resident of Deir Sharaf, its pedestrians "they sometimes make trouble for." We saw no pedestrians, and couldn't wait around because the soldiers were very jumpy and didn't let us park by the side of the road. Since traffic flowed freely, we preferred not to argue with them.
07:45 Beit Iba
There are 8 cars waiting to be checked entering the city, which is more than in previous weeks. Relatively few pedestrians for this time of day, because there aren't classes at the university. A taxi driver who went over the line is put in the detainee's shed. The arrest is made quietly and calmly, the driver accepts his fate (isolation and forced idleness, lost hours of work). We popped into the Maya Laundry adjacent to the checkpoint. Because of the complicated process involved in manufacturing jeans, the laundry provides a good vantage point on the flow of traffic in the western part of Nablus and the economic damage caused by the checkpoint. Hundreds of jeans are sewn in Nablus every day. The sewing shops send them to the Maya Laundry, on the outskirts of Deir Sharaf, to be dyed. After dying they return to Nablus for ironing, and finally leave the city via the merchandise terminal at Awarta. Remember that the laundry in Deir Sharaf is only a few kilometers from the factory in Nablus. Ever since draconian limitations were imposed on truck traffic passing through the Beit Iba checkpoint, the trucks unload the jeans on the Nablus side of the checkpoint, and they are transferred to donkey carts. We didn't see the carts at all recently, and wanted to know why. When we arrived, the owner hadn't come yet, and his assistant said that they'd been directed to the Awarta merchandise terminal for the intermediate dying process as well. That's just crazy, because Awarta is located east of Nablus, and the detour costs them at least another hour of travel each way.
Now, with the opening of Shavei Shomron, the distance has been reduced, but they still hope to receive authorization to drive directly through the Beit Iba checkpoint. To our surprise, we were told that the DCO representative at the checkpoint who is responsible for issuing permits (his name is Rami) visited the laundry and promised to solve the problem. Since then they've been trying to go through, but are refused nine out of ten attempts. We asked why Rami didn't issue the laundry an official authorization? The assistant didn't know the answer.
15:00At the entrance to the checkpoint there is light traffic of vehicles. In the humanitarian and the regular lines, very few people pass through, probably because the academic year at the university has not yet begun. Eventually, the pedestrian traffic increased and an additional line was started.
14:00 Lines are especially short – no more than 5 cars from each side; no dog handler today.
Detainees: One who tried to sneak through and was caught, and a friend of his whose name appears on the list of ID numbers requiring checking.
The line goes quickly in all the lanes and in all directions.
After drinking our traditional cup of coffee, we left at 15:15.
Translation: Hanna K.
14:00: Samaria Gate:
Police presence is reinforced, probably this is connected with the triangular warning signposts on the road - be careful, accident. A few trucks loaded with containers are waiting on the eastern side of the gate. There are no detainees.
14:15: Marda: The two gates are open. Zeita-Jama'in - closed.
There are two cars coming from the west waiting to be checked.
From the north there are 17.
The "menora" watchman is posted at his position in the center of the square.
There are no detained cars at the CP itself.
Near the entrance fo Beita a military-police/regular police jeep drives slowly, almost on the margins.
Two elderly ladies and a man stand next to the entering-vehicles checking-stand. They look desperate. It transpires that their belongings are waiting in the cart to be checked and let through, and until this happens - they are waiting. The X-ray vehicles is not here, which slows down the checking process even more.
The queue goes up to the end of the shed, threee turnstiles are active, the passage which, until a few weeks ago, served the rapid queue - has been entirely blocked by a high fence. Second lieutenant B., the CP Commander asks that we turn to him with any matter, or that we ask the soldiers to call him, and that we shouldn't cross the white line...
14:40: - A vehicle marked with the TV sign in which there are five passengers, three of which are Israeli Arabs, leaves Nablus and is detained until the arrival of the blue police. They entered Nablus without the proper authorizations. When we returned from Beit Furik, two hours later - they were still waiting there.
At the parking lot a young man meets us, he says - today the soldiers shot at a young man who was walking in the fields of Awarta and told him to go to the Huwwara CP. The young man was present at the event but could not supply too many details.
At Beit Furik we met Muhamed, the olive vendor from the Awarta CP and he supplied some supplementary details: The young man tried to walk by way of the fields, the soldiers shot at him. He didn't know whether the young man was hurt. The event took place around 12:00 at noon.
14:55 Beit Furik
Second Lieutenant Y. is the CP commander.
He turns to us and asks us to move back. When we didn't comply he ordered: "stop the checking. We phoned the center.
At the entrance turnstile five men are waiting. At the exit from Nablus about 30 people.
Cars - as far as we could make out there were five cars waiting to cross over in the direction of Beit Furik. On the access road to the CP one car is waiting to get out.
A military policewoman: Y., Stop the checking, I'm not letting anybody pass. What's the problem, don't be such a "bleeding heart" do your work, summon the police for these women". Everything said in a screeching voice which we could well hear.
A soldier: "All went well until you arrived".
A phone call to the battalion commander didn't reach him in person, only his answering service. He came back to me after a short moment and promised to take care of the matter immediately.
Five minutes later only those people who arrived before us were allowed to pass in the direction of Nablus, that's to say three. After that the queue stopped again.
The CP commander orders that the CP be reopenend, after he called his commander who ordered him unequivocally to do so. The military-policewoman objects. He tries to convince her to swallow her pride: "The brigade commander is on his way here" says the commander Y.
This doesn't impress her - let him come, she shrugs her shoulders. Let him see how they do here whatever enters their minds.
A military-policeman: I have a list in my hand, and I don't want him to photograph it. I don't know what he photographs and what he doesn't (points at Attar) but this is a confidential list which nobody is entitled to see. Therefore, until the photographing is stopped the CP will not be opened.
Nur says to the CP commander: you are acting against the law, and I shall submit a complaint against you.
We explained to the soldiers that our presence at the CP cannot be considered pretext for closing it for the Palestinians, that they have no right to punish the local population because of what we do.
The military police-woman: "Darling, it's you who is punishing them, not me". And one of the soldiers: "look at that, she acts like the minister for justice, that one".
15:05: A hammer arrives, unloads hot food, and the commander consults with them. The driver of the hammer says: Why do you fret, order the police for them and that's it. Y.: They don't answer...
Y. the commander comes up to us and tries to negotiate a compromise: stop taking photographs and I shall open the CP.
The Hammer drives off and the CP is opened - in spite of our continuous presence.
A captain, a company commander arrives.
He goes up to the soldiers and talks to Y. the commander. A few minutes later he comes to us to talk to us. His name is A.
He says: We recognize the white line as the limit behind which the different civil rights organizations - women in green, women blue white, machsomwatch, you name it - are allowed to stand. If you want to help us - stand there. If you insist on standing here - I have no problem with this.
The checking of the cars is carried out quite quickly.
The checking of the pedestrians, on the other hand, is performed much more meticulously, each bag is checked, and each document is detained in the hands of the military policewoman. Her language becomes coarser and her voice louder: " Lawara, lawara I said, what, what? Step back I told you, don't you understand what one says to you??? Ouachad, ouachad!"
The military policewoman probably feels she lost the battle. She is angry. Her behavior towards the Palestinians becomes louder and louder, and the checking lasts much longer.
In a conversation with captain A. she sounds thus: you there, you don't come here to teach me what to do, do you hear? I'm hear a year and three months, you come and go all the time and change, I know what has to be done, and those must stand where I told them. I tell the person to go out, and she shouldn't talk back to me, fuck her.
Even the military policeman comes and makes a comment to her about the way she talks to the people in the queue. She: "what, yallah, yallah is against the law???If those ones would be here they would dare open their mouths at all."
15:40: An elderly woman, leaning on a younger one, skirts the queue. Y. the commander checks their papers and lets them go on.
Half the shed is full. The military policewoman is in charge of the persons leaving Nablus, and she has time, she has no interest in working...
At the upper parking lot they tell the following story:
A 23 year old young man from Beit Furik, probably with an organic/mental problem ("special education" is the term they use) threw last Friday stones on a vehicle of a settler, just opposite the CP. The settler descended and hit the lad. The soldiers came and separated them and took the young man. Since then the family tries to find out what happened to him and where he is. The father talked to A. from the DCO who said the young man was taken to hospital. We took all his details to investigate further.
In a telephone conversation with A. from the DCO it transpired that the young man was returned on Monday evening to his home. He was released at the Huwwara CP.
Women are waiting at the passage for their mates to come out from the men's queue.
A taxi is being checked - we measured six minutes for the checking.
The TV vehicle is still detained there.
The men in the queue take off their belts and then put them on again as is customary.
Attar has a suggestion to make the process more efficient: just be clever and stop put on belts which detain them for no purpose.
A CP fashion is in the make here.
15 cars coming from the north, 7 coming from the west are waiting.
14:30 On the way to Beit Iba we stopped to look at the Qalqilya checkpoint. No lines, and traffic is flowing.
15:00 Beit Iba. On the way to the checkpoint on foot we met Khalil with the cart, transporting cardboard boxes. He said the soldiers told him that's the last time they'll let him bring in boxes like those. Why? Because.
The sparse vehicle traffic flows freely.
Regarding pedestrians – the shed is almost empty. People go through the humanitarian lane in dribs and drabs. Almost no one is there. There are two detainees in the shed. Sarah asks the commander about the detainees. Answer: "They're taxi drivers. They entered a forbidden area. Caused a disturbance." Another soldier continues: "It's very important, ma'am. They cause a disturbance and annoy us. They aren't allowed to cause a disturbance."
In response to our question about how long they'll be detained, the answer: "We'll keep them here for two hours."
Sarah: "You know that harms their livelihood?"
Soldier: "They interfere with our work. We know where they're allowed to be, and they keep trying, more and more. They're not allowed to be in the forbidden area, just like you're not allowed past the white line."
He just throws that out, without even asking us to move back behind any white line.
The commander is in a good mood. He lets me get a trashcan to sit on. Both soldiers are wearing sniper scopes on their hats.
A woman is taken to be checked and immediately released.
A young man passes through the magnemometer a few times, removing something else each time: belt, shoes – and finally gets through.
15:40 Since everything's calm, and the detainees will be held for another hour, at least – we leave.
In general – No people. Quiet. Deserted. Sad. In September, classes at the university will probably begin again, and they won't have a choice other than to fill the checkpoint again.
Translation: Suzanne O.
The roadblocks are run ‘quietly and effectively' but those arrested and put into the lock-up cell, in IDF language ‘detainees', are very disturbing.
There are 17 ca rs in the queue to leave Nablus. There are no detainees.
The roadblock is open and there are no queues. A military jeep observes the car park from beneath the watchtower. It disappears after a quarter of an hour.
There are 8 lorries in the queue from Nablus. The inspections take 2½ minutes. There is no queue at the entrance to Nablus but they do not start another queue for those leaving.
- A detainee leaves the cell. A.M. claims that he is put into the cell each day either at Beit Furiq or at Huwwara. He does not know why. The details are passed to Micky for clarification.
- Another detainee has been held in the locked and barred cell since 8 a.m. M.B., according to Moria's interrogation, is being held because of his ‘behaviour'. He will be held until 11 a.m. Why? He claims that he said "Ana Ahbad" to his friend and a soldier told him that he should be silent and put him in the cell. He does not know his ID No., and his document has been taken away for inspection. A soldier told us that he is being held as a ‘wanted person'... before we leave we ask if we can talk to the commander and the uncommunicative liaison officer about the prisoner's fate. "He will be released at 11 a.m.", which leads us to the conclusion that they are running an educational seminar on appropriate behaviour towards the IDF.
- 9:00 a.m. A thorough body search of a young man with a bag that looks like a photographer's holdall. He is put into the narrow cell in addition to the ‘behaviour' detainee. His name is M.K. Why is he in the locked cell? "He has not been arrested, he is detained, he is wanted", answers the soldier. The detention becomes humiliating and offensive. The ‘photographer' is released an hour later, after a visit from the civilian police and inspection of his documents.
- A woman called P.J. comes over to me asking for help. She is from the Balata refugee camp. Her brother is an inmate in Shata Prison. Every time she crosses the roadblock she is detained for two hours. Last time she was also strip searched in a room there. She has requested permission to visit her imprisoned brother three times but is always refused. (Details have been passed to Micky F., for clarification.)
- 9:30 a.m. The civilian police arrive. They inspect documents via the computer. A young man who has been inspected is called to another soldier and told to go to the liaison officer for a ‘talk'.
- Those leaving Nablus are in three queues and it takes about 15 minutes to cross.
- From time to time elderly and sick people arrive; they go immediately to the car queue. The soldier inspecting cars, if he is not being supervised, offers to help and get them into the taxis and vehicles on their way into Nablus.
- A large group of young French people from the Free Palestine organisation leaving Nablus take an interest in our activities. The group is accompanied by young women from Hebron.
11:00 a.m. Huwwara village
A mobile roadblock is in place from those on their way to Tapuach Junction. No cars were held up there.
Guests: Hadas, film editor; Amira Haas, journalist; Fathi C, Jordan Valley activist
The stay at the checkpoints was short, and insteas we visited residents of a number of "pasture stations" (encampments) in the Jordan Valley.
11:15 Maale Ephraim Checkpoint
One car, its documents being checked slowly. When I get out of the car and approach the soldiers, the Palestinian car is released.
11:45 Hamra Checkpoint
No cars in either direction. We drive on northwards.
12:50 Tayasir Checkpoint
Only one taxi waiting, eastbound, with perhaps ten passengers, including a baby and toddlers, waiting to pass on foot. Ten minutes pass till the taxi is called for checking, in the normal ritual: the car stops 20 metres from the checkpoint, the driver gets out, raises his shirt and pirouettes. (Of course, if he had an explosive charge or a weapon, he could leave them in the car and pull them out after the humiliating dance.) Another ten minutes pass till the soldier comes from the (air-conditioned) vehicle inspection hut to the pedestrian hut (also air-conditioned), and calls for the first of the transients. As they pass him, the anger is evident in their faces – they have been waiting more than half an hour, for nothing, with no one else at the checkpoint!!
Noontime and it’s very hot.
13:15 – we leave – there are no Palestinians at the checkpoint, and vehicles pass at a rate of one every five minutes.
Iron Gate Facing Roi
The locked gate blocks the path from the pastures of the Hudeida tribe, and others, to the mainstays of their livelihood - the West Bank villages Tamun and Tubas, the hospital, doctors, water sources and so on. The gate is supposed to be opened three times a week, for half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon – on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Whoever needs a doctor outside of those times must travel by tractor to the checkpoint at Hamra or Tayasir (there are no cars or taxis in the area) – a two-three hour detour. There is nothing to be said about ambulances!
14:50 – right behind us a military jeep appears. A tractor is waiting to cross into the West Bank with three passengers. The soldiers sit in the jeep and wait.
15:00 – after an hour they open the gate only for the tractor. I ask why they do not leave it open till 15:30 as obligated, for perhaps people will still come. The answer: the observers at Beqaot will see if someone will want to pass, then they’ll come to open. Sure! Just like last week when Salah arrived with his children, after being summoned for interrogation at the DCO, and it was only our repeated requests that got them to open the gate after two and a half hours! Salah then said that if we hadn’t been there, they would never have opened.
The waiting hut for the Palestinians – the only shade at the checkpoint – is being used to store the soldiers’ water tank, and the Palestinians have to wait in the sun.
A worker returning to the West Bank waits ten minutes, alone in the blazing sun, until they call him. There’s no reason for the delay because they are not checking anyone else. Just so! Let him wait! The soldiers try to drive us away with shouts and threats to call the police.
16:10 – we leave.
Visit to el Farsia on the Allon Road north of Rotem. Some 22 families (100 souls) living on the spot since before 1948. Electric power lines cross their land – cross but don’t stop. No electricity – it’s only for Jews. Living off the land, they grow cucumbers and tomatoes, and a year ago they also brought melon seed from Sardinia. A spring flows through, and they used it to irrigate the fields – and to live. Five months ago a white Civil Administration jeep drove up, at 10 am, without military escort (implying that they knew there would be no resistance) and cut all the pipes from the spring to the cultivated plots. They were told that they are forbidden to take water from the spring. An Israeli lawyer that they hired from Um el-Fahm succeeded in making the Civil Asdministration return the pipes (only a week ago) but what’s the point in that when they are forbidden to pump. The pipes lay idle while the fields and hothouses turn yellow, dry, with nothing left. Today they bring water in tanks from Ein el Bida. The children say that they sometimes travel to the nearest town, Tubas, to visit the extended family, but they vigorously (and angrily) insist "but here is our home, only here!"
And if that isn’t enough – landowners living in Tubas collect rents on the camp here, on the pastures, and recently they have increased the rent. And the Palestinian Authority, instead of pressuring the landowners to encourage the adherence to land on the site, is indifferent to their fate and allows this extortion. Many people have left – they have no strength left to fight both the Israelis and the landowners.
And if that isn’t enough – the checkpoints, the blocks, the separation trenches and the army. A daughter of the family marries a boy from Tamoun. How many difficulties will be placed in the way of members of the tribe when they want to visit her, the grandchildren? Two days ago the bridegroom decided to bring to the campsite yoghurt and lamb for the traditional wedding "mansaf." The gate was locked, of course, and the checkpoint so far away... The bridegroom decided to shorten the route, and crossed through the mountains. The observers spotted him and sent a scout after him. He was taken to Hamra Checkpoint where he spent five hours in solitary confinement – a day before the wedding.
Translator: Charles K.
DCO representative: T. Commander: a Golani officer
15:00 No line at Za'tara. No checkpoint at Burin/Yitzhar.
Long lines. 4 youths in isolation. They were caught 15 minutes ago trying to sneak through the hills. Their from Jenin and Beit Iba. They're only being detained to check their documents (according to the checkpoint commander).
People complain about having to wait on line for an hour. It's very crowded. The x-ray truck is still out of order. The contents of bags and sacks are checked at the booths.
16:10 The dog handler arrives. It's still hot.
The officer chases away people who are waiting in the shady portion of the plaza, calling out "Yalla," and waving his hands. "Please" isn't part of the checkpoint lexicon.
The lines are still long. The women's line is also particularly long.
It takes 5-6 minutes to check a car, and there are about 10 cars on line (leaving Nablus) - in other words, about an hour wait.
16:35 No cars at the checkpoint. Few pedestrians.
A soldier comes over to find out who we are, and what we're doing here. When we explain that we're there to protest the existence of the checkpoint he's amazed - the checkpoint is there to defend the country. He wasn't able to recover from our fallacious arguments, and the stunned look on his face doesn't change when his friend comes over to tell him that we're not worth talking to.
We twice watched the dog handler working, the dog sniffing and dripping saliva. Even though there's not a lot of work, the dog handler is rude and jumpy. "Go," she bays at a man standing in front of her, and doesn't release the turnstile in which a mother and baby are trapped. Indifference to the feelings of others, to ignore someone standing right in front of you as if he were transparent as air and did not exist, even if only for a short time, and to keep chatting with another soldier should serve as a clear warning signal.
We have to drink coffee and hear what's happening to Abu Salah in the area. The situation was unreal.
17:40 Back in Huwwara from Beit Furik.
The detainees were already released. There are still lines.
The soldiers seem exhausted. If, previously, the inspections were conducted relatively slowly, but quietly and in a businesslike manner, the soldiers are now joking among themselves, yelling at the Palestinians, and the inspections are being carried out so precisely that it's insulting. And we recall that it's the Ninth of Ab, the day the Temple was destroyed, and we're witnessing the destruction of all standards of morality and honor which are the basis of a healthy society.
18:00 We left when the checkpoint commander opened a fast lane and a flow of women flooded the checkpoint.
Charles K.- Translator
14:05 On the way to Huwwara: The northern and southern gates to Marda are open.
The entrance to Zeita is still blocked.
Za'tara checkpoint: one car waiting from the west to be checked. From the north: two lanes operating.
15 vehicles waiting.
A military vehicle stands at the Burin-Yitzhar junction.
14:17 Huwwara checkpoint:
The shed where people leaving Nablus wait is full. They report that they have to wait an hour and a half. Two vehicle lanes are operating.
About five minutes after we arrive a detainee is put in isolation. We have difficulty getting information from him. The checkpoint commander drops everything and hurries over to explain to us about the "blue line" that we're not allowed to cross, that "my checkpoint is a closed military area," and threatens to call the police "if we don't cooperate." He claims the youth was detained because he dared to go through the "humanitarian lane," and is being punished.
The commander says that he'll be detained up to three hours, unless he receives permission to hold him even longer.
The DCO representative at the checkpoint (T.) says he can't give us information about the detainee without the commander's authorization.
At 14:40 we call the humanitarian center and talk to T., who says he'll find out what's going on.
At 15:45 (when we were in Beit Furik) the humanitarian center reported that the detainee had been released.
The x-ray machine through which people going through the checkpoint usually have to put their bags through isn't operating (for a week now, according to the DCO representative), which means that the soldiers empty out the bags, going through bedding, clothes and food.
You can begin to see the route of the new checkpoint under construction to the northeast of the existing one. A photo is can be seen inour site.
15:40-16:20 Beit Furik checkpoint:
In our site (www.machsomwatch.org) a photo of the view from Beit Furik towards Nablus. Also a photo of the hilltop on which the village houses are built. The villagers are forbidden to go beyond the built-up area, toward the olive trees. They told us that people who tried to do so in the past were shot at. The checkpoint is almost empty. One vehicle lane is open. Five vehicles are waiting from each direction.
16:35-17:30 Back to Huwwara:
Two inspection booths operating. People going through complain about the thick dust in the air from construction at the checkpoint and from the quarry. One detainee in isolation. The DCO representative says he was caught about an hour ago trying to bypass the checkpoint and is being punished. He promises that he'll be released soon. He's released after half an hour. (we didn't manage to talk to him).
At the checkpoint we meet a psychologist who treats prisoners who were tortured. He tells us that sometimes he's allowed to go through the "humanitarian" lane, and sometimes he isn't - it depends on the soldiers.
Volunteers from the Ecumenical Church who passed through to the other side of the checkpoint tell us about 9 vehicles waiting to leave Nablus (at 17:20).
Pedestrians tell us that they have to wait about an hour.
We asked the DCO representative what the security justification is for the small number of people authorized to enter with a vehicle. He says that private cars that have authorization belong to doctors, lawyers, businessmen and "humanitarian cases." Regarding taxis - the army set a quota of permissions to be granted to drivers.
17:35 A police car stands at the Burin/Yitzhar checkpoint that is near Huwwara.
17:40 Za'tara checkpoint: One lane operating. Eight cars waiting from the north. From the west (also one lane operating) 15 cars.
Translation: Hanna K.
14:30: Sha'ar Shomron: Where is the police? Where is the Border Police?
14:40: Opposite Ariel the development work continues.
Marda - The two gates are open, the western and the eastern one. Zeita Jama'in - still closed.
Za'tara: There are reservists at the CP.
From the west there is absolutely no queue.
From the north: four cars.
There are not vehicles detained at the CP itself.
The soldier guarding the lamp at the center of the square, stands at his position. On the other hand the hitch-hiking stops are without personal guards.
15:00: Beit Furik:
The upper parking lot is empty - almost no cars and no pedestrians. The coffee vendor says - truly, this is a good CP... There are rumors that the CP will soon be dismantled...
There are no entering pedestrians, and in the outgoing persons queue there is a serious sparsity.
The CP commander, whose rank is that of a lieutenant, comes up to us: Shalom, are you watch? May I help you? Ok, be here but try not to disturb. We promised.
A car is checked by presenting papers only. The next one - the driver is asked to get out of the vehicle and to open the trunk. The next car, an agricultural commercial vehicle - the drivers ID is checked against the list of wanted persons, when there was no match - he is released.
15:20 - We note that vehicles are checked in two lanes - for entering vehicles and for outgoing one simultaneously!
There are seven detainees waiting for us in the in the solitary confinement cell.
According to one of them he is held there for five hours already, without water or food. He asked to drink water, in order to swallow psychiatric pills, but the soldiers were alarmed by him and confined him to the cell. According to T., from the DCO, not one of the prisoners was held there more than for the prescribed three hours.
Water is given to them following our explicit request. A few moments after our arrival the young man is released, together with two others. In their stead another young man is detained.
Thus the permitted inventory quota in the Huwwara detention cell is maintained - only five persons simultaneously.
The CP commander. Second Lieutenant E., who refused to talk to us when we turned to him, suddenly shouts: make yourselves scarce! Back, back!!
We complained about his behavior to the humanitarian center.
We: why? We didn't cross the line, so as no to create any provocation.
He: but she (pointing to Merav) is taking pictures! It is forbidden to take pictures!
It is allowed to take pictures...
He, in a rage: really? It is allowed to take pictures of soldiers? Since when??
An Israeli young man is detained because he entered Nablus, to work, without authorization.
Quickly two women join the others, a mother and a daughter, because they entered Nablus to visit relatives, they too without an authorization.
The police which is summoned to take care of them , is requested to take care of us too.
The policeman arrives, tries to say that it is forbidden for us to stay in an area which is defined by him as "closed military area", and that "it is forbidden for us to go and talk to the prisoners".
Merav explains that first of all the people we talk to are no prisoners - they are detainees, and that as a human rights organization it is our duty to go to the detainees to find out whether they received water, and why they are detained, etc.
The incident ends without results. The policeman releases the Israeli detainees, and from us he didn't even ask to see the IDs.
There is a visit of the Golani Battalion Commander (Lieutenant Colonel A.F.) accompanied by four adjutants - his company commanders... The CP commander complains to him about us, about our photographing.
The battalion commander F., says that he has no problem with our presence or with our picture taking....
We had a conversation with him and with the company commander of the company which mans Huwwara.
At the end of the conversation we got his telephone number, in order to solve problems directly with him, without having to turn to the Center as an intermediary (in the course of our conversation he got a phone call from the brigade concerning the behavior of E. the commander).
He says: "In the end, all of us want the same thing - that the CP be managed in the best and most humane manner possible.
We smiled. We have slightly different aspirations...
A woman comes up to us and tells this story: she is an inhabitant of Tira, her mother, aged 83, was run over by an Israeli arab citizen, in the village of Ramallah, a month ago. She hospitalized her in a private hospital and that was that. The mother is in a serious medical condition which deteriorates from day to day. Since her release she is hospitalized in the Rafidiya hospital in Nablus and her treatment is bad. She wants to transfer her to an Israeli hospital but this is too expensive, and as there is no file at the Israeli police - it is impossible to force the insurance company of the injuring driver to pay for the hospitalization. She begs for help.
The quick queue gets mixed under the shed, women and men together.
The passage is blocked by a plastic barrier and an iron grille on top of that.
The x-ray vehicle is still not working.
There is no dog trainer or dog.
The red barrier moved since last week and is now positioned without a flag flying over it, in order to delay the queue of cars leaving Nablus.
A car is checked - its passengers are waiting in the sun for eight long minutes until they are allowed to enter it again and go on their way.
17:20 - The Samaria CP:
There are five detainees. One of them who speaks Hebrew well, tells us that they were detained at seven in the morning by the Rosh Ha-Ayin police, where they were held until they were brought to the CP an hour ago. According to the CP commander (with the rank of sergeant) only half an hour passed since they arrived.
The CP commander wants to know "how is one accepted to do your kind of work?" We explained that this is no work, it is volunteer work, and that one has to be - that's how it is - a woman... he repeats his question, probably in order to make us feel bad regarding ourselves, so what, I cannot be accepted by you?
Ten minutes after our arrival everybody was released. They thank us in many languages: Arabic, Hebrew, English, French, Russian...