Did you know that the Security Services charge each settler wanting an accompanied visit to Josef's Tomb NIS300 when it is New Moon?
Sha'ar Shomron east
There are no police cars.
The entrances to Marda and Zeita are open
There is no traffic jam. The Menorah which stood at the centre of the roundabout has been moved to the side of the road and a multi storey fortress has sprouted in its place with a soldier at the top of it. At the other side of the roundabout a civilian police car directs us to the side and wants to know where we have come from and where we are going. They did not ask for documents. Perhaps they are lying in wait for settlers?
There are no military vehicles.
A soldier peeps out from the top of the watchtower but takes no notice of us. We made a u-turn around the tower but he was not interested in whether we went to Nablus or not.
No traffic. According to the soldiers it's because of Ramadan.
The traffic flows to and from the town with no interference from the soldiers. There is a patrol vehicle. At one point a vehicle was inspected without it being directed to the side of the road and a queue immediately built up. The roadblock commander went to sort the problem out and the road opened up to traffic straight away.
A lorry completely filled with gravel was turned back so that it didn't drive onto the road meant for cars only.
The traffic flows.
At Sha'ar Shomron a civilian police car is parked opposite those entering the territories.
And, for a change, there was no traffic jam between Kfar Kassem and the HaKfar HaYarok junction.
Translation: Suzanne O.
There were rumours about new Urginea but we didn't see anything.
The entrances to Marda and Zeita are open.
When we passed by there were no cars at all at the junction. When we got to Huwwara a convoy appeared behind a lorry but it too crossed quickly.
There are no military vehicles.
On the way between Borin and the roadblock there are scorched hills, reminders of the blaze there at the beginning of the week after the IDF demolished a building on Mount Bracha.
A soldier peeps out and waves hello from the top of the watchtower. There is an innovation at the exit from the area of the roadblock - on the wall where there was an abusive message, there is a new sign: No left turn to Madison Way. This is the first place to state that Palestinians are not allowed to drive on the road. (I regret to say that the camera on my mobile refused to cooperate.)
We searched the sides of the road for signs of the burning tyres which led to Palestinians being caught at the beginning of the week but didn't see anything. One of the villagers told us that it happened near a settlement (?) but did not want to go into details.
The inspection of each lorry leaving Nablus causes a short queue.
The soldiers guarding the entrance roadblock demand to see our documents and do not give in.
The traffic to and from the town flows and the soldiers do not interrupt it at all. There is a dog handler vehicle present but not active. There aren't many vehicles in either direction.
The traffic flows. Here too there is a dog handler in the car park but we didn't see any vehicles being inspected.
Translation: Suzanne O.
The entrances to Marda and Zeita are open.
About 15 cars crawl through the roadblock but the soldiers do not hold them up.
There is no military activity.
On the way between Borin and the roadblock there is a group of soldiers patrolling on the side of the road.
A soldier peeps out from the top of the watchtower and waves us hello.
A resident of the village tells us that stones were thrown at a military vehicle which drove through the village last night. The soldiers retaliated by throwing shock grenades which woke the whole village.
There is not much vehicular traffic. The roadblock is controlled by reservists.
The soldiers guarding the roadblock at the entrance ask, as last time, for our documents. But when they realise that we do not want to enter Nablus they desist.
Traffic to and from the town flows with no intervention by the soldiers; there is very little traffic in either direction. We asked the soldiers what they are doing there. The answer: to ensure that no religious Jews enter Nablus and get beaten up!
At the exit from Huwwara, in the area opposite Beita, a military vehicle is parked, apparently Border Police.
The traffic flows. Just as we drove by the car park we saw, in the corner, a number of soldiers having a lively discussion with two Palestinians but it was too late for us to turn back. We hope that everything ended peacefully.
Translation: Hanna K.
THE "NAHAL" CORPS IS GOING TO MOVE ON AND THE ARMOURED INFANTRY WILL TAKE ITS PLACE.
06:30 THE SHA"AR SHOMRON (QASEM)
EASTWARDS IS WIDE OPEN AND THERE IS NO CHECKING.
THE ENTRANCES TO MARDA AND ZEITA ARE OPEN.
07:00 ZA'TARATAPUAH: THERE IS NO QUEUE
BURIN/YITZHAR: THERE ARE NO MILITARY VEHICLES
07:30 BEIT FURIK:
QUITE A GROUP OF RANKED SOLDIERS ARRIVES AT THE CP AND IS BRIEFED THERE. THESE ARE THE COMMANDERS OF THE SUBSTITUTE UNIT.
THE ACTIVITY DOESN'T DISTURB THE INCOMING AND OUTGOING VEHICLES FROM PROCEEDING INTO THE TOWN OR OUT OF IT ROUTINELY. THE SOLDIERS AT THE TOP OF THE POST WANTS TO FIND OUT WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR AND WE CONTINUE ON OUR WAY.
07:35 AWARTA: A SPARSE VEHICLE TRAFFIC. TWO BORED SOLDIERS.
THE PARKING LOT IS COMPLETELY ENMPTY. THE SOLDIERS WHO GUARD THE ENTRANCE CP ASK US TO PRESENT PAPERS BUT WHEN THEY ARE CONVINCED THAT WE DON'T INTEND ENTERING NABLUS THEY DON'T INSIST.
THE TRAFFIC TO THE TOWN AND FROM IS FLOWS WITHOUT PROBLEMS. THERE AREN'T MANY CARS IN BOTH DIRECTIONS.
A LOADED TRUCK WHICH TRIES TO LEAVE TOWN IS SENT TO DRIVE THROUGH AWARTA.
ANOTHER TRUCK WITH A REVERSIBLE CRATE LIFTED THE CRATE TO PROVE THAT I'S EMPTY AND PASSED THROUGH THE CP.
ABOUT HALF A DOZEN SOLDIERS MAN AT THE CP. WE DON'T KNOW WHETHER THEY ARE EXPECTING PALESTINIANS OR SETTLES.
ZA'TARATAPUAH: THE TRAFFIC FLOWS.
A DAY OF A "GOOD CP".
הנח"ל עומד לזרום הלאה ובמקומו יעלה החרמש
06:30 שער שומרון מזרחה פתוח לרווחה ואיש לא בודק.
הכניסות למרדא ולזיתא פתוחות
07:00 זעתרה/תפוח: אין תור
בורין /יצהר: אין רכבים צבאיים.
07:30 בית פוריכ:
קבוצה נכבדה של בעלי דרגות מגיעה למחסום ומקבלת תדרוך במקום. אלו מפקדי היחידה המחליפה.הפעילות אינה מפריעה לרכבים היוצאים ונכנסים לעיר כבדרך שגרה.
החייל בראש העמדה מברר מה אנו מחפשות שם ואנו ממשיכות בדרכינו.
07:35 עוורטא: תנועה דלילה של רכבים. שני חיילים משועממים.
מגרש החנייה ריק לחלוטין. החיילים השומרים במחסום הכניסה מבקשים שנציג תעודות אך לאחר שמתברר להם שאיננו מתכוונות להכנס לשכם הם מוותרים.התנועה לעיר וממנה זורמת ללא כל בעיות. אין הרבה מכוניות לשני הכיוונים. משאית עמוסה המנסה לצאת מהעיר נשלחת לעבור דרך עוורטא.
משאית אחרת, עם ארגז מתהפך, הרימה את הארגז כדי להוכיח שהוא ריק ועברה במחסום.
כחצי תריסר חיילים מאיישים את הבטונדות שבמחסום. איננו יודעות אם הם מצפים לפלסטינים או למתנחלים.
זעתרה/תפוח: התנועה זורמת. יום של "מחסום טוב".
From Hares via Kifl Hares, Jama’in, Ein Abous and Huwwara to the Huwwara checkpoint and the Habla agricultural gate
During today’s shift we met people from Sylvia’s “department” in Kifl Hares and Huwwara to whom we had to give some documents.
15:15 Hares The village is taking its afternoon siesta. Nadim called our attention to the demolished house at the southeastern edge of the village, a monument to the glory of the state of Israel.
15:30 In Kifl Hares we saw the tomb of “Caleb ben Yefuneh,” bearing a sign in large Hebrew letters, apparently erected by the ministry of religion and tourism? At the eastern entrance to the village, next to the IDF guard tower, we waited to hand over the documents.
16:00 We entered Jama’in via the reopened road and then through Ein Abous and on roads in fairly poor condition to Huwwara. It occurred to us that if we don’t have any contact with the village then the route isn’t an appropriate one for Machsom Watch because it doesn’t involve any contact with settlements or with settlers.
16:35 Huwwara We stopped in the center and then Nadim’s car wouldn’t start. The person we were to meet at the checkpoint came to us. Meanwhile, Nadim was attending to the problem.
17:25 Huwwara checkpoint It’s usually more crowded at this hour, but maybe because of school vacation few cars went through in either direction. It appears they’ve made some cosmetic improvements in the area where cars leaving Nablus are inspected. Some of the concrete barriers have been removed and that part of the checkpoint looks less offensive.
17:40 Burin (Yitzhar) junction. A military jeep parked at the junction – apparently Border Police.
17:45 We saw another Border Police jeep in the western part of Funduq.
18:00 Habla agricultural gate Very quiet and calm at this hour. The gate is open until 18:30.
To sum up: There are, in fact, fewer checkpoints and endless lines, but the burden of the occupation and its injustices are evident everywhere.
13.34 The agricultural gate of Habla (1393).
We came late by 4 minutes. And as we had done so had the driver of a Palestinian truck who was refused entrance. “He only came 4 minutes late,” we said to the soldier at the gate. “Can’t you let him go through?” The answer of the soldier came immediately. “Even if he had come 3 seconds late I would not let him pass.” Can it be that from his voice arises joy in someone else’s calamity?
When we asked if the bus with the children had gone through he said he could not remember.
In the same fashion he replied when we asked if the bus went through each day. He did not know.
(Does the bus not go through because it is the long holiday?) No he is not new here. “I hope you are not recording me. We know you.”
We went back to road 55. We did not try to get to the yellow gate which closes the road to Ras A-Tirah. The soldier at Habla knew to tell us that it was closed and that the DCO was seeing to it that the farmers from Ras A-Tirah got to their lands by different paths.
14.00 The Eliyahu crossing. Little traffic.
At the crossroads of Zufin the Israeli police were present because of an accident.
At Azzun Atma an army Hummer was present but the traffic was not limited.
Before El-Funduq (after we had found that the shift of Yehudiet L. was going to Atara) on road 5066 in the direction of Emanuel and Ariel.
15.00 The village of Haris. We stopped in the village and bought items at the grocery shop and we wanted to go on to Kif'l Harat. Children signed to us not to go on. Young people turned to us once they had realized that we were Jews and said that we should not go as the shabab were making problems.
So we turned around and went on road 505.
The crossroad of Za'tara/Tapuach – the traffic is flowing.
15.40 Huwwara checkpoint.
Little traffic. Taxis leaving Nablus are checked quickly . There is no passage for Israeli trucks coming from Nablus. They are pointed in the direction it seems of Awarta.
Now and again soldiers checked the IDs of Israelis going into Nablus.
We went on road 60 to the north.
Opposite the entrance to Yitzhar – border police are making a thorough search of a car from the area.
The driver and all the passengers are outside. It seems that it was a random check. When they are freed the police sign to another car to stop. A man (Palestinian?) sits on the ground apart from the passengers of the taxi. Even though we stopped for a long time we could not find out why he was detained and he would not answer our questions.
16.10 The checkpoint of Anabta. The traffic flows.
16.30 The crossing at Kafriat/Te'enim.
Israeli cars going into the occupied areas are checked thoroughly.
16.40 Irtah/Efraim crossing.
It is the time of those returning home. Most of the workers greet us with pleasant faces, a turn of the hands, some in Hebrew, some in English. “Now it is OK.
In the morning they drive us crazy,” one said. “Today was OK, the whole day has been ok,” said another.
Translation: Hanna K.
Today too the day is one of a "good CP".
06:30 The Samaria gate eastwards is wide open and nobody checks.
The entrance to Marda is open, nothing new at the blockade to Zeita and Jamma'in.
06:50 Za'taraTapuah: there is no queue at the CP.
At the parking lot opposite Beita there is an army vehicle, not of the Border Police.
A group of soldiers enters the empty building – the last house at Huwwara.
BurinYitzhar: A Border Police vehicle is waiting on the border of the road coming down from Yitzhar.
07:20 Beit Furik: the soldiers have returned the barrier to its former place. There is only one lane open, and no cars are stopped. According to the soldiers there have been no problems lately with the Tomb of Joseph people.
07:25 Awarta: Here too there is a slight change in the location of the barrier, and it is nearer the farm house. At the new location the soldiers are able to check both the incoming and the outgoing persons, but they do not check.
07:40 Huwwara: At the abandoned parking lot some confiscated cars are still parked.
The traffic to the town and from it flows without problems. There aren't many cars in both directions. One may conclude that in Palestine too there is today a bridge day.
There wasn't any girl dog-trainer and no DCO and their absence wasn't felt.
We asked the CP commander about the soldiers we saw at Huwwara, and it transpired that the Border Police had left the town and went up to Yitzhar to "settle" there. The "Nahal" soldiers entered Huwwara in their stead.
BurinYitzhar: The police vehicle still waits.
Opposite Beita we entered into a conversation with the "Nahal" soldiers. Contrary to the border policemen in the past, those seemed relaxed. They had never heard about the MachsomWatch women, but appreciated out activities.
Za'taraTapuah: No queue has accumulated.
On the way home too there was no queue – as we said – a bridge day, Issru Hag - the day after Sahvuot.
Translation: Suzanne O.
A 'good roadblock' day.
Sha'ar Shomron eastward is open and there are no inspections.
The entrance to Marda is open, nothing new at the barrier to Zeita and Jama'yn, just a footpath which gets deeper.
There is no queue at the roadblock. The menorah which stood in the middle of the roundabout has disappeared. There is a soldier in the position in the middle of the roundabout.
A military vehicle is parked at the side of the road. For Palestinians? For settlers?
Nachal soldiers use the yellow barrier as an additional lane for traffic. The traffic is not heavy and the inspections are random. According to the soldiers they use the barrier as a roadblock for supporters of Joseph's Tomb who do not obey the soldiers' orders and bypass the plastic barriers.
No cars in the queue. There is no dog handler. The soldiers are relaxed.
In the abandoned car park there is still a line of confiscated vehicles. The soldiers say it is none of their business.
The traffic to and from the town flows with no problems. There are not many cars in either direction. From time to time the soldiers stop a car for inspection. There was neither a dog handler nor a DCO representative present. All in all just two soldiers were at the roadblock. The rest of them had been placed at other points in the area and from time to time there was a changeover at the check point.
The military vehicle is still there.
On the road up we counted 19 vehicles crawling along. We parked in the car park and went over to talk to the soldiers but the queue had already dissipated. To be on the safe side they opened an additional lane.
At the side of the road two taxis waited for a thorough inspection of ID cards but quite quickly they were on their way.
In the car park there were a lot of cars with yellow number plates, apparently belonging to those working for the contractor doing the road works.
Today the "Nahal" (krick - a unit in the IDF) did not stream. Delays and careful searches at Beit Furik and Huwwara.
6.50 Sha'ar Shomron from the east is wide open and no one is checking.
The entrance to Marda is open and there is nothing new at the barricade of Zeita and Jamaien,
7.15 Za'tara/Tapuach There are no queues at the checkpoint.
Burin/Yitzhar is empty.
7.35 Beit Furik.
The Nahal soldiers had put out spikes over most of the road and so only one car could pass at a time. Because we drove up to them with the car there was a traffic jam and they did not allow us to pass the checkpoint so as to turn around.
7.40 Awarta. No cars waiting and no dog trainer.
In the empty and deserted parking lot are a line of cars with the engine opened and they are surrounded by barbed wire. The soldiers say they have been there for a few days. It seems to be the police who have taken these cars off the road as they are not roadworthy. Most of them look as if they should be in a junkyard but some seem relatively new. We did not see police. We were told that a while ago the lawyer of one of the owners of a car had come past and asked to whom he could speak.
The traffic in the direction of Nablus is lively and streams through.
The dog trainer checks one car carefully, the soldiers another and all the rest wait.
Soon a line forms which stretches as far as the eye can see. Those who have initiative or are privileged bypass those waiting and get stuck at the side. After some minutes a third route is formed.
As a result of this cars entering Nablus are forced to slow down and leave the road.
Immediately a line forms in the opposite direction. A truck who driver tried to get through here and not at Awarta is forced to turn around and this causes even more delays, Afterwards the truck is stuck at the side. The line of cars already reaches the circle. For five minutes everything is at a standstill. We phone the DCO and they say they will find out what is happening.
After not too long a time the DCO representative arrives and the traffic begins to crawl. Some cars are freed and again there is a delay. The commander of the checkpoint comes and tells us that there were very strong alerts in the whole zone and they hope that everything will end soon. He said that they also had called the DCO.
8.30 It seems that the security alert has ended but the traffic situation has become more complicated. From afar we see that the three lines have got stuck and that the soldiers are trying to direct the traffic which is standing or to make a preliminary search.
The dogtrainer comes nearer and speaks to us. She asks if our sons do not oppose our activities or are scared .
8.40 The line in the direction of Nablus has melted away but those exiting are coming out in drips and drabs.
8.50 We leave the place and the line of cars waiting to leave Nablus.
Burin/Yitzhar …no military activity.
9.05 Za'tara/Tapuach. The traffic is flowing. In the parking lot a car is carefully checked.
Over the news we hear of no activity in the area of Nablus.
Translation: Hanna K.
A boring morning at the Nablus CPs. The Nahal soldiers inspire a relaxed atmosphere.
06:40 The Samaria Crossing east is wide open and nobody checks.
The entrance to Marda is open, nothing new in the blocking of the road to Zeita/Jamma'in.
07:05 Za'tara/Tapuah: there is no queue at the CP.
At the village of Huwwara there is a military police jeep leading a slow procession along the main road.
07:40 Beit Furik:
We note with satisfaction that the CP has calmed down again. We crossed the road back and forth to Nablus and from Nablus and nobody even peeped in our direction from the top of the tower.
This time too there are no waiting cars. There is a girl dog trainer, but the dog rests.
The Nahal soldiers replaced Kfir, and the change is felt.
07:50 Huwwara CP:
At the entrance to the parking lot there are Nahal soldiers. Young and relaxed.
We advance and reach the checking posts. The traffic flows.
Both the Nahal soldiers and the Border Policemen ignore the passing trucks and don't bother them to turn around and to drive through Awarta. They hardly stopped on taxi for checking. We didn't see a girl dog trainer.
At the old CP – a mustard-yellow blossoming covers the entrance to the security monster.
Burin/Yitzhar – there is no military action.
We decided to return by the Jit intersection. Not far from the Gilad ranch there is a military vehicle in the midst of the green field, observing the road.
We hoped to go up to Sara, but it turns out that the road is completely blocked, already near the intersection and probably since a long time, as hyere to the mustard yellow blossoms cover the blockage.
At the Jit intersection a military ambulance waits on the side, as if expecting an upcoming accident.
After Kedumin, a bit before Funduq, there is a military police rolling CP on the right hand side.
Three taxis and one private car wait to be checked, just so in the middle of the road.
At the Eliyahu gate the driver of the tender which drives in front of us, with yellow number plates and a blue ID card is thoroughly checked. We cannot decide whether the driver has an oriental=Arabic appearance or not. We are being waved on without a word.