Translator: Charles K.
The checkpoint was manned by a new group of soldiers who spent part of the time paying attention to us rather than making the lines shorter. The soldiers said that about an hour before we arrived they arrested a youth who tried to stab a soldier.
At 15:00 a curfew was imposed on Huwwara.
14:20 Za'tara. No line, the checkpoint is open.
New soldiers at the checkpoint. A., the commander, says that only a sample of people are inspected, the checkpoint is open, soldiers point their rifles at the cold... The checkpoint is open between 05:00 and 22:00.
14:45 Awarta. 10 cars waiting at the exit to be inspected. Most of them private cars.
An hour before we arrived a stabbing incident occurred and the checkpoint was shut down. The "stabber" was arrested and taken away.
New soldiers here also. Itz., the commander, looks frightened and nervous. He chases us away from where we were standing (near the humanitarian lane), hears us complain and immediately calls the police to come deal with us.
5 soldiers come over to us, some of them officers and two female soldiers from the situation room. The soldiers, headed by someone from the IDF press office, stand opposite and point their weapons at us, advance, hem us to move us away from where people go through the checkpoint, toward the parking lot or the turnstile where people come in. We insist that we're not interfering with anything by standing here in the center, show them what's written in the regulations, photograph the way they're standing, while they photograph us. Soon they bring us a fax, dating from July, prohibiting us from crossing over the white line...
Following this ceremony of quiet violence, in which they tried to push us back by the show of militance just described, the soldier from the IDF press office stood facing us during our entire shift. As if he had been assigned to watch the Machsom Watch women, so they won't be an annoyance at the checkpoint. He was polite, and mumbled that we should move away from the central area where we were standing. He finally came to terms with our presence there, but kept tabs on us during our entire shift, accompanied by two female soldiers from the situation room, who might have been practicing on us.
3 lanes. People on the humanitarian lane complained they had to wait for two hours. Sometimes they had to remove their shoes. Most were students. Nadim says it's exam time. Some hissed curses as they came through. But some of the soldiers were busy with us instead of seeing that the lines moved more quickly.
Women wait for men in the middle of the path to the parking lot. Two soldiers move toward them, again in a militant manner, their rifles pointed at them, and push them toward the parking lot.
A., the DCO representative, is one of them.
16:45 It's cold at the checkpoint. We leave.
Burin junc. 4 cars on line to be checked.
Huwwara (the villlage). Empty. The shops are closed. There's a curfew. A man on his way to the mosque says that the curfew has been in effect for two hours. From 15:00. Is it because of the war in Gaza?
Beita. An army jeep stops vehicles going down onto the main road. 8 cars on line.
Translation: Hanna k.
A cold and oppressive day, even though there were no exceptional event, but the routine is what is difficult and causing despair.
At the entrance to the territories through the Samaria gate there are no checks, at the exit about 15 cars move slowly.
Marda - the entrance is open, Zeita is closed and the entrance to the village of Beita is open.
Za'tara (Tapuah) junction - from the direction of Road no. 5 there is no traffic. From the direction of Nablus there are about 22 cars waiting to pass, a transit car is checked at the square.
07:50. At this time of the morning there is no activity at the village of Huwwara. The shops are still closed.
Burin junction - from the direction of Yitzhar a military vehicle stands blocking and checks the passing cars.
08:00 Beit Furik CP -
As in the last weeks the pedestrians' passage is closed by a fence. There are no residents who come by foot.
Vehicles pass from both direction into and from Nablus without any obstruction, although still hesitating. At the CP itself a few soldiers are posted.
At the entrance to Beit Furik the yellow barrier is open.
08:15 Awarta CP -
Contrary to the last months the CP at the exit from Nablus is crowded, we couldn't see how many cars were waiting but the drivers reported on a one hour's wait. Apart from commercial vehicles who usually pass there, this time also private cars pass and indeed there is a signpost indicating that the passage is for VIPs. Some drivers don't know that it is forbidden for them to drive on the road in the direction of the Huwwara CP. When we ask that the soldiers tell them that they should drive straight on so that they wouldn't have problems, they, as they usually do, say "they know" what is allowed and what is forbidden. The CP now is on the road itself and it is impossible to enter and see what happens inside.
08:25 Huwwara CP -
The parking lot it full with taxis waiting for livelihood, it does not seems that today they had much because only very few residents are leaving Nablus.
The old CP is completely demolished all that remains are the remnants of the installation for detainees, and the prisoners' station.
The road is open for vehicles entering Nablus and the leaving cars are checked but there is no special load, on the side stands the x-ray machine.
And at the new CP there is a prison with high fences and observation posts and soldiers in secure booths, and only few residents are passing, there are 3 stations, a humanitarian queue and two queues for men. From time to time we hear the service-women, who can't be seen, screaming.
When we arrive and enter the area of the CP the CP commander comes up to us and tells us politely that we cannot stand at the CP - just at the entrance path to Nablus and this according to orders from the brigade commander, the order is from last week. We did not argue as anyway there was no movement of people leaving Nablus.
We went to the station for people entering Nablus, the gate for invalids was closed, there is a step to go on the pavement but allas it is impossible with an invalid-cart to reach it because the distance between the concrete cubes that are positioned there doesn't make it possible for this cart to pass. This time again we drew that commander's attention to the problem.
There was a very lively movement of residents at the entrance to Nablus, some of them will probably leave in the evening and then the load on the entrance will increase.
While we were still standing there and looking, even though from a distance, but the whole CP is spread out before us (one can see but not hear, ask, try to help) a soldier came up from the CP and said "from ideological reasons I wish to know why you come here", we answer and he "if you were serious you should come also at two o'clock at night, just as I am here" we replied that he is obliged to be there he is sent, and he answered "I am not obliged I want to, I am here to protect the mountain of Beraha, Yitamar and Yitzhar". Black on white, not in order to prevent terrorist attacks on Israel, not for the security, point blank to protect the settlements. So sad and causing despair.
Most of the dialog we had today with the drivers and peddlers whose livelihood was robbed from them and they develop all kinds of systems to sell something notwithstanding, and to earn some money. They asked us to help them.
09:30 we left.
At the Burin junction the military vehicle was still there checking cars.
The town of Huwwara woke up to the day's activities.
Za'tara junction - Now we counted about 15 cars coming from Nablus and at the square a bus is being checked and a dog is also present.
Translator: Charles K.
We were told that a tour group from Yesh Din saw a new outpost that had been erected south of the Barkan industrial zone. There, next to the bridge, to the east, we see an improvised mobile snack bar selling drinks on the access road to the industrial zone.
14:17 Next to the new traffic circle at the entrance to Ariel we see, to the northwest, the new checkpoint to Kif Al Hars. A local resident says that people on foot as well as vehicles can exit there. Soldiers stand near the tall observation tower.
14:21 Both gates to Marda are open; the entrance to Zeita is blocked as usual.
14:30 Za'tara -
Cars coming from the west don't have to wait; there's one inspection lane. From the north: Two lanes - soldiers standing, talking, not inspecting. Vehicles stop some distance from the booths, used to waiting for inspection (that doesn't happen), so a line sometimes forms, a female soldier sometimes bothers to waggle her fingers so the cars go through.
We photographed the mobile snack bars that are parked permanently at the traffic circle, that also serve the settlers standing there waiting for rides.
14:45 A police car a little way past Beita (looking for stolen cars?).
14:47 Burin junction, on Route 60, an army Hummer parked across the width of the road.
14:48 Before the village, opposite the place where people hitchhike, an observation tower has been erected.
14:49 Huwwara checkpoint
A personal note: It takes me a while to adjust to changes. I promise to overcome that. But not today.
I stand paralyzed opposite the pen. The new one. A glorious creation of the Jewish state. The design must have been taken from similar structures on other continents, not so many years ago.
Wherever I try to stand and look, the checkpoint commander appears, demanding
S T E R I L I T Y. I'm sure he'll get a medal from his superiors.
15:45 Awarta -
The Palestinians have received a bonus, and Area A has been enlarged - it now reaches the Madison Route!!...We're not allowed to stand where we usually did. We see a very long line of vehicles of different kinds waiting to go in the direction of Awarta. We also saw some private cars driving on the Madison Route toward Huwwara. The soldiers said they're sneaking in, and will be caught. They didn't answer questions. We'll attach a photo.
We notice, looking from Awarta toward the direction of the Huwwara checkpoint, buildings covering the hilltop south of the Bracha settlement, fairly close to Burin.
Is this a new settlement (or outpost), or an expansion of Bracha?
15:50 Beit Furik -
Just when we arrive passengers from a minibus are being checked in the pedestrian shed, so we still haven't had the honor (...) of seeing no checkpoint here.
We wonder what will happen at night, after midnight, when a woman who has to give birth or an ill person who has to reach the hospital quickly must go through the checkpoint. How long will it take the soldier to notice someone waiting below? How long will it take him to come down from the observation tower? How long until he arrives to open the locked gate?
17:16 Za'tara -
Two inspection lanes for vehicles coming from the north - two vehicles. No waiting from the west. One inspection lane.
Translator: Charles K.
7:20 Shomron Gate is open to the east and crowded to the west.
7:35 Za'tara junction.
Israeli police presence on the road from Ariel to Ramallah. A number of police officers, in a very good mood, inspecting some vehicles. No pressure, and the atmosphere is relaxed. Traffic flows freely from Huwwara toward Ramallah. No pressure in this direction either. The soldiers are relaxed and polite.
7:55 At the entrance to Beita, an army Hummer and a Border Police jeep are parked on the other side of the road. We didn't see them stopping vehicles.
8:00 A Hummer is parked at Burin-Yitzhar, but no line of vehicles has formed.
8:05 Beit Furik.
Light traffic. The checkpoint is operating efficiently and the atmosphere is relaxed.
The Beit Furik checkpoint will close down in the near future (next week, apparently) and be replaced by a steel barrier that's already in place. The barrier will be closed and block the road at midnight, and we don't yet know what time it will open. Nor do we know what will happen in emergencies that occur when the barrier blocks the road. How will people get through if they have to obtain medical treatment at night?
The Border Police jeep and the army Hummer are still parked on the side of the road and aren't stopping vehicles.
9:05 There are no army or police vehicles at the entry to Beita.
9:05 The entry to Zeita is blocked. The entry to Marda is open.
- שער שומרון פתוח לכוון מזרח ועמוס לכוון מערב.
7.35 - צומת זעתרה
בכוון מאריאל לרמאללה יש נוכחות של משטרה כחולה. מספר שוטרים, במצב רוח מעולה, בודקים כמה כלי רכב. אין לחץ והאווירה רגועה. מכוון חווארה לרמאללה התנועה זורמת בחופשיות. גם בכוון זה אין לחץ. החילים רגועים ומנומסים.
7.55 - בכניסה לביתא, מעבר לכביש, עומדים האמר צבאי וג'יפ של מגב. לא ראינו שהם ניסו לעצור כלי רכב.
8.00 - בבורין- יצהר ניצב האמר אבל אין הצטברות של כלי רכב.
אין תור של הולכי רגל מתחת לסככה. התנועה דלילה, הן של הולכי רגל והן של כלי רכב. שאלנו מדוע כל כך מעט אנשים עוברים והסבירו לנו הפלסטינאים שלרגל החג הקרב הרבה אנשים יוצאים מהשגרה. מתחת לסככה עובדות שתי קרוסלות וזאת למרות שיש מעט אנשים.
אין איש במעצר. יש משקפת ויש כלבנית אבל הכלב בכלוב.
8.35 - בית פוריכ.
תנועה דלילה. המחסום מתפקד יפה והאווירה רגועה.
המחסום בבית פוריכ יפסיק לתפקד בקרוב מאד ( כנראה בשבוע הבא ) ובמקומו תהיה זרוע ברזל, שכבר נצבת במקומה. הזרוע תחסום את הדרך בחצות ועדיין איננו יודעים באיזו שעה תפתח. איננו יודעים גם מה יקרה במקרי חרום בשעות שהזרוע חוסמת את הדרך. איך יגיעו אנשים שיזדקקו לטיפול אמבולטורי בלילה?
9.00 - בורין- יצהר . עדיין הג'יפ של מגב וההאמר של הצבא עומדים בצד ולא עוצרים כלי רכב.
9.05 - הכניסה לביתא חופשית מרכב צבאי ומשטרתי.
9.15 הכניסה לזיתא חסומה. הכניסה למרדא פתוחה.
Translator: Charles K.
Changes on Route 5 at the entrance to the settlement of Ariel.
A new road segment opened (that nibbled away more olive groves belonging to the villages of Hares and Kif-al-Hares), a very large traffic circle was installed at the entrance to Ariel, a side road to Kif-al-Hares opened. We saw Palestinian cars driving on the old road between the Barkan junction (Hares) and the entrance to Ariel but we don't know whether that's a new "two-level separation" (i.e., an apartheid road). This should be checked. A sign next to the traffic circle: Ariel, Salfit. Did an entrance to Salfit open? This should be checked.
14:20 Marda: The western gate of the fence surrounding Marda is open, as is the main exit gate.
Jama'in-Zeita. The entrance from Route 505 to Jama'in-Zeita is still blocked by large concrete barriers. Taxis wait for passengers on both sides of the checkpoint.
14:25 Za'tara checkpoint. No line from the west, 12 cars from the north proceed slowly and almost never stop. The inspection is quick. We don't stop.
14:00 Huwwara checkpoint.
The parking lot is very crowded with jitneys and private cars. About 50 people on the younger men's line, 3 lanes open, average wait time 17 minutes (we measured at three separate times). No line of cars from the south; what we're able to see are 5-7 cars from the north. The x-ray machine for luggage is operating, for all people on foot with bags (young men, women, elderly, mothers or fathers laden with children - "full equality"). A young mother leaves her two young children next to the soldiers inspecting the line off to the side and goes over to the x-ray machine. Many people leaving that line pass by them until the mother returns. It takes 10 minutes to check 35 people on the line for younger men. That is, if there are 150 younger men at the checkpoint it will take 45 minutes if the inspections go on continuously without stopping.
About 70 on the line off to one side, where 125 people go through in 10 minutes - the same rate we observed later.
15:22 Two young men preferred to take a taxi through the checkpoint instead of waiting on line. Because it takes so long to inspect each car, it took them at least 20 minutes to get through the checkpoint.
An elderly man wearing a gauze mask over his mouth and nose, supported by his wife, tries to go through the vehicle lane. He stopped not far from where the soldiers on the side lane are standing, but they apparently don't notice him. The couple goes through after waiting a while (I couldn't see whether anyone checked their ID cards after all that wait).
15:25 Nine cars at the entrance to Nablus. At least two of them were refused entry.
16:00 Beit Furik checkpoint.
About 5 cars leaving Nablus for the villages. 2 entering. The soldiers alternate, letting one car from each direction through the single lane. About 20 people on foot. A steady stream of pedestrians and cars from Nablus; it takes a few minutes to go through. People wanting to go to Nablus wait a long time because the soldiers doing the inspections don't look their way, but there aren't many.
16:10 A young woman carrying an infant who's about a year old arrives, two toddlers holding on to her legs and another child about 5 or 6 years old. She goes through the passageway next to the road, gets about 2 meters from the soldiers and stops. The soldiers continue to check people leaving Nablus and ignore her, even though they must have seen her. As it is written, "They have eyes, but they see not." Regarding the heart - I'm not sure they have such an organ. After our intervention, and the usual reproaches - "What are you doing here? You're not allowed to stand here," and "She'll wait like she's supposed to," and after two more minutes of "preserving the Jewish soldier's dignity," they let her through - without any inspection, of course.
16:40 Huwwara checkpoint.
At least 150 people on foot waiting for three inspection lane for younger men and at least 70 more for the line off the to side for women and elderly men. 10 cars at the entry to Nablus. From time to time the inspections stop because the soldiers straighten out the line, including trying to stop people attempting to bypass it. The female soldier in the eastern booth does her best to work as quickly as possible, but every time her security guard jumps up to straighten out the line, the inspection stops. Because of the distance between her and the people waiting on line, she has to yell "Come on, come on," all the time. We've already written a great deal on the (lack of) value of the checkpoints in general from the point of view of security, but you have to see how that soldier is working in order really to understand what "pulling the wool over your eyes" means. She holds the famous short list in her right hand. She carries out the rest of the inspection with her left hand: checking ID cards, opening bags and packages, and rummaging through them. Moreover: budgetary savings in the Ministry of Defense seem to have been implemented first at the Huwwara checkpoint - there's no light in the inspection booth. God only knows what, exactly, she's able to see on the ID card, on the short list and in the bags she's checking. But there's order, and that's what's important. The line already extends beyond the shed, but by 17:10 it has become much shorter. Very many people are entering Nablus, some carrying bags and parcels, some with little children - all of them jamming into the narrow turnstiles (narrower than those located on the Green Line - measure them). 15 cars on line to enter Nablus.
We have to leave, even though there are still many people at the checkpoint.
17:20 A flying checkpoint on the road to Burin and Madma, about 30 meters from the Huwwara road.
18:00 20 cars from the north at Za'tara junction. Inspections are quick.
Translation: Suzanne O.
The shift is made up of a short observation time and a long journey.
The roadblock is unstaffed at the east.
The huge roundabout at the entrance to Ariel eases the flow of traffic.
The entrance to Marda is open but the barrier at Zeita is in place.
There are no cars from the direction of Ariel.
From the direction of Huwwara a queue is starting to build up and the officer hurries to open an additional checkpoint.
There are no Border Police at the entrance to Beita.
Not a soul.
A Border Police vehicle is parked at Borin opposite the United Feed warehouse and looks as though its passengers have deserted it.
With the evacuation of the humanitarian point and the continuation of the road works the car inspection area for cars leaving has been reduced. Even so, we do not see a queue at all. The x-ray machine stands at the foot of the new lane. There is no crowding at the pedestrian queue, the men are inspected one at a time and the women cross quickly via their, and the elderly, queue.
There are no detainees. The DCO representative is present. The car park is busy and full.
There are only a few vehicles at the back to back; there is a queue at the exit from Nablus including a number of private cars, apparently belonging to the high and mighty.
There is a long queue of cars to get into town and a lot of crowds at the pedestrian lane.
The women do not cross via the turnstile so as not to be crushed by the tens of men waiting in the queue. It is not possible to speak to the commander; he is hostile and rude. He tells us that we must leave the roadblock on the orders of the Brigade CO. The 'café' is deserted and we hear contradictory rumours as to the reason.
Back to Huwwara
The traffic is flowing and there are no queues of cars either at the entrance or the exit. There are no detainees or prisoners.
We are in a hurry to finish the shift because we are on our way to a humanitarian mission: to help a youth from Beita who was badly beaten at the beginning of the week at Na'alin roadblock and whose documents were taken from him. He was told to come to Na'alin to collect his documents but is afraid that he will not be permitted to cross at Za'atra without documents. The youth does not speak Hebrew and is accompanied by a friend who speaks a little Hebrew. We started on the long and winding way and when we arrived at Na'alin the soldiers received us with great astonishment. According to them they do not have the documents at the roadblock and he needs to go to the DCO at Ramallah or Huwwara to find them. The youngsters did not know how they would get back to Beita without documents or money. Esti donated them money and I wrote and signed a permit for them. After 1:00 p.m. we were informed that they had reached Beita safely.
Thank you to everyone who helped me to find a safe route.
Translation: Hanna K.
14:05 - We counted about 20 vehicles waiting in two queues from north to south. From the south only the Palestinian cars are being checked. From all the other directions the traffic is free.
14:25 - A rolling CP of the Border Police near Burin/Yitzhar
14:35 - At the parking lot two Palestinians tell us about a girl who was seen taken near the CP by a military vehicle blindfolded (they didn't say whether she was also handcuffed). When we approached the CP the commander rushed to us to tell us not to get near, and that we are only allowed to stand at the edge of the CP near the beginning of the thoroughfare wall.
When we asked about the girl he answered hastily that she threw stones, and wasn't prepared to add anything. We asked if there were detainees and he said there were but didn't want to disclosed how many and why they were detained. We saw from afar one detainee.
The pedestrian queue from the direction of Beit Furik was quite crowded. At the humanitarian queue they passed quicker. At the other queues we noted a waiting time of half an hour for those leaving Beit Furik. In the opposite direction the traffic is sparser.
For some reason they left only one lane for vehicles in both directions. Those who come from the south, and they are few, have to wait sometimes almost an hour until they are allowed to pass. Most of the traffic arrives from the north and is checked by sampling.
A group of three officers headed by lieutenant colonel D. who is responsible for the activities of the military police at the passages (that's how he explained his task) arrives. He was polite and courteous but in reply to our complaints regarding the behaviour of the CP commander he replied that we could only as how long a detainee would be held, and not why he was detained. Regarding the girl who was taken he refused to explain. When we asked him to give us a phone number to enable us to call him if need arose, he evaded the issue and answered that he already had a good connection with Hanna B.
15:20 - already in the vicinity of the noisy parking lot we noticed a police vehicle parked west of the CP and how two boys were handcuffed, blindfolded and forced to their knees. We went up to them but didn't succeed talking to them as they refused to talk. We saw that they were very young. The soldiers who stood next to them were prepared to say that they were caught passing at the CP and that they were transferring something "bad". The police officer who found us tried to chase us away with shouts and screams, and then a Palestinian woman appeared and shouted at one of the boys, so we understood that she was his mother. She too was chased away together with us, but she spoke English well enough so we could understand from her that her son and his friend, who are 16 years old, carried photographs of themselves carrying arms. According to her they did it at a party, for amusement, with a gun they got from a Palestinian policeman. We watched as their legs were being attached to each other with shackles, they were put into the police car and carried away.
At the CP we saw the same three officer from the military police and hurried up to them. What lieutenant colonel D. told us was that in addition to the photographs the boy also carried a long knife (as the officer was told). We told the boy's mother this information but her husband told us that he had driven after the police car and that in his opinion the boys were put into the "Offer" camp. We tried to get more information from the humanitarian center, but they returned to us with the same information we got before. They were unable to explain why the boys were taken by the police and not the army.
Only after the boy's parents disappeared we discovered to our dismay that we didn't manage to get names and phone numbers to find out what happened to the boys.
At the CP itself there were no detainees. The humanitarian queue was active and the people who were waiting at the regular exit from Nablus queue had to wait for about half an hour. The passage from Huwwara in the direction of Nablus is free.
Translator: Charles K.
6:50 A huge plaza in being built at the entrance junction to Ariel, where a policeman usually stands in the morning directing traffic.
6:54 The entrance to Marda is open; Zeita is closed.
7:00 Za'tara/Tapuach -
No line of vehicles, cars arrive and pass through. One lane open, cars are hardly inspected. Taxis and trucks as well. One soldier sits in the position above the lamp.
A truck is stop for a moment and a line forms immediately.
7:10 A minibus arrives at the checkpoint and is sent to be inspected in the parking lot. The next minibus goes through without being checked.
7:12 The soldiers open a second lane. A third lane is open for special cases.
7:14 The minibus inspection is complete and it continues on its way.
7:28 Burin/Yitzhar junction - A Border Police jeep stands on the side of the road.
7:30 Huwwara -
The parking lot is still half empty. About 50 people on the pedestrian line, which advances quickly.
7:50 A taxi leaving Nablus is detained for inspection. The driver removes packages from the trunk and is sent over to the x-ray machine. He's released after about 5 minutes.
8:07 Awarta -
4 trucks on line. Quiet. Cars go through; we ask about them and are told that they have documents that they're businessmen.
8:30 Beit Furik -
We approach and a soldier takes out a camera a photographs us. We smiled politely. There's an officer on site (a lieutenant), and we ask to speak to him. He comes over and is joined by the checkpoint commander. We ask the reason for the photograph and he says that its because we're standing where we aren't allowed and it's disruptive. We express our view, and also ask what's disruptive. The officer stammers, uncomfortably, finally the checkpoint commander admits that we're not being disruptive but "some are." He said that a week and a half ago someone from Machsom Watch called him a Nazi. The officer is the area commander and is here on an inspection tour.
There's a dog handler on site. Inspection of vehicles takes a long time and a long line forms. Only one lane open. A bus arrives. The men get off and go through the checkpoint on foot, the women remain on the bus and two soldiers get on and check them.
We moved away and the checkpoint commander came over to talk to us again. They check every vehicle coming from the direction of Nablus, and one-tenth are inspected by the dog handler. But only vehicles entering Nablus that seem suspicious are inspected. We tried to explain that at the current rate vehicles are being checked people will have to wait for more than two hours. He refused to understand but later it looked as if the conversation had some effect on him, another lane opened, the inspections were much faster and the line disappears.
10:00 The end of the shift, and return home.
Translator: Charles K.
14:02 Marda: Both gates are open. Zeita: Closed and locked as usual; the same on the way back.
14:06 Za'tara checkpoint. One car waiting from the west, 10 waiting from the north, at two booths.
14:11 A Border Patrol jeep in the parking area next to the entrance to Zeita.
14:14 Burin checkpoints are not manned.
Two residential structures that we didn't see before on the hill before the settlement of Beracha.
14:21 Huwwara checkpoint - the detention pen is empty.
Three inspection booths for young men, magnemometers beeping, people going through remove belts and belongings and after the inspection, as usual, rearrange their clothing and belongings; a line on the side for women and elderly men. Simi, the representative of the church escorts, updates us together with her partner on the shift who's on the other side of the checkpoint:
About 250 Palestinians waiting in the shed to be checked, lots of foot traffic in both directions.
Three taxis and one bus in line to be inspected leaving Nablus.
There's sometimes a line of vehicles to be checked entering Nablus, but it disappears after a few minutes.
There's an x-ray vehicle to inspect belongings - D., the female MP who's well known for her yelling, has been transferred after a complaint was filed against her. In her new job she sits (quietly?) in the white x-ray vehicle-
The DCO representative is on site.
14:40 Just like last week, a fire breaks out to the west of the Huwwara checkpoint and burns fields and groves belonging to villagers from Burin alongside the private road of the Beracha settlers. Photos attached.
T., the DCO representative, calls for two fire engines from Nablus, and when they arrive the drivers have to wait at the checkpoint for military vehicles to escort them, because the road belongs (?!) only to the settlers. Buma Inbar is also there. He also called for escort vehicles.. By the time the escort arrived the flames had managed to burn fields and groves that hadn't been reached by last week's fire.. The vehicle belonging to the settlement's rabbi is located near the area of the fire, as well as an armored tractor that belongs to the settlement.
The head of the Burin village council arrives and stands there helplessly by himself -
This time as well (like last week) they won't find whoever set the flames: had he been Palestinian he would have been found immediately.
15:20 A detainee in the pen - inappropriate behavior. Released half an hour later.
16:50 Beit Furik checkpoint -
About 150 people on foot leaving Nablus for Beit Furik, waiting in the shed to be inspected.
37 vehicles were counted leaving Nablus toward Beit Furik. Few vehicles waiting to go from Beit Furik to Nablus. Drivers from Beit Furik say they waited an hour. There are reports of particularly long waits at the checkpoint in the past two weeks. Dorit calls DCO Huwwara, 02-970 3159 (because Z. isn't in the area), reports on the crowding. They said they'd try to send reinforcements, but none had arrived by the time we left and it was as jammed as before.
One detainee in the pen. We weren't allowed to go over to him. We reported it to the humanitarian center. They didn't know about him. Said they'd check.
We found out his name, in a roundabout way ("Every person has a name..."). We knew he'd been detained for three hours and he's asking for water. Now we could report more details about him to the humanitarian center.
We tried (raising our voices) to tell the checkpoint commander that the detainee is asking for water. He paid no attention.
Dorit took the initiative - went into the area of the checkpoint next to the soldiers' position with a bottle of water in her hand.
Dorit: Excuse me, could you give this water to the detainee?
Soldier: Will you get out of here? Now! I don't want to see you!
Dorit: I'm going, I'm gone - just take the bottle and please give him something to drink.
Soldier: Do you know that he cursed me?
Dorit: I'm sorry about that, but could you give him this water?
Soldier: He was rude to me, and cursed me - he doesn't deserve water, I haven't had anything to drink either.
Dorit: So you take a drink first and then please give it to him. He's thirsty.
Soldier: He's been there 3 hours and will be there longer - Why? He cursed me, I'm not bringing him water, and you get out of here.
Dorit: I'm going, I'll just give him some water.
Soldier: He's not drinking, I'm not giving, if it were 86 degrees I'd give him water but it's not hot, I'm not giving, then he'll want to go piss. Get out of here.
I went...he didn't get water.
When we called the humanitarian center they said they had information about the man (yes, since we provided the information...), that he's been detained for two hours (the checkpoint commander said three hours...) and about him being thirsty - they can only tell the DCO representative to tell the soldiers to give him water; that's what they can do.
The man detained "for security reasons," without being able to drink, was released at 18:30 and told to go to the GSS representative in the next couple of days.
17:42 Za'tara checkpoint - One car from the north to be checked. Two booths.
From the west - two vehicles waiting to be checked. One booth.
Translation: Ruth F.
6:15- The eastern lane of Sha'ar Ha'Shomron wasn't manned.
The western entrance to Marda was open but the blockage at Zeita was still there.
6:35 Za'tara/Tapouah junction:
Only few vehicles were in line from the direction of Ariel.
Young and determined Giva'ati soldiers were at the checkpoint. The officer wouldn't allow them to speak to us. When we arrived the line from Huwwara was long, but a new lane had immediately opened and the traffic started to move. The soldiers inspected the cars in a random order and the line grew shorter. A vehicle that "didn't stop at the checkpoint in spit of the soldier's orders" (we couldn't make out at which post this had occurred) was brought to the lot but the officer sent the driver off very quickly.
For the first time we saw some Palestinians crossing this checkpoint by foot.
The BP wasn't present at the entrance to Beita.
A BP jeep was used as a rolling checkpoint, the soldiers pulled over cabs and they took down the details of the passengers. The police officer said they were only pulling over those coming form Yitzhar and therefore they were not inspected at Huwwara. Since we couldn't find a place to park we didn't stay to make sure this was really how the checkpoint functioned.
There were many pedestrians, we couldn't see whether there was a long line of vehicles coming out of the city. The dog trainer's car was parked but the dog was closed in his dog house. The binoculars were on the new lane.
We heard a new rumor regarding the construction plans: They will first finish working on the draining system, then move the pedestrian lane over there and then destroy the old checkpoint and build a number of lanes for vehicle inspection (like in Za'tara), because they are planning to allow vehicle to pass without the need of a permit.
There were no detainees. The DCO representative arrived. The parking lot was full and there was a new Shishlik stand at the market.
7:50 Awarta: There were few cars, "the tea house" was recovering after the fire.
8:00 Beit Furik:
There was a short line of vehicles heading into the city, few pedestrians were present. We went towards the "humanitarian spot" and the soldier made it clear to us that it was out of bounds for us, because there were soldiers at he rooms by the toilets.
8:20 Back at Huwwara.
Traffic was flowing, there were no line of vehicles at the entrance of the exit, and there were no detainees either.
9:00 Za'tara/Tapouah junction- There was a short line from Huwwara.
At the entrance to Sha'ar Hashomron was a large sign informing of the "free way" project. As an optimistic person I hope this entails relieves for the residents of Nablus.
The project will allow the lords of the land to enter and exit the bank without disturbing their fabric of life, while every other vehicle will be inspected.
The inspection of vehicles with that will be able to use the free lane had begun on the 3rd of November and it will end on the 12th of December, "later they will decide on the regulation that will enable those subscribed to enter" and they will be able to pass through the Pascal lane.