9.14 The Eliyahu crossingis completely empty.
9.44 Huwwara CP. There are 3 soldiers at the checkpoint only checking cars leaving Nablus. One of the soldiers stands at the cement block with his weapon pointing at passing cars. A bus is delayed and the other cars go pass without being checked. (One soldier waves his hand like a traffic cop. Suddenly another two soldiers appear maybe they were in the bus? Another bus is detained and waits behind the first one. AN army jeep goes up from the circle to Griziem. A car and taxi pass without being checked.
10.10The bus is free and the one behind it is checked.
10.20 Beit Furik CP. Empty with little traffic.
The bar at Awarta CP is closed and locked.
10.50 Za'tara/Tapuach CP. No soldiers to be seen and also not in the sentry tower.
11.10 Salfit CP.Next to the entrance to Ariel settlement. One bar is open, another closed. Two soldiers at the entrance to Ariel open the checkpoint to taxis which pass without being checked.
11.30 Azzun Atma.This checkpoint of which there were rumours that it would be disbanded has become a real monster. Many cement barriers, passages, gates. And today it is much more difficult to see what is happening. An army jeep stands right inside and blocks the checkpoint. We did not see people waiting to pass.
Shomron crossing.7 cars in the direction of Israel pass swiftly.
Translator: Charles K.
10:15 Salfit checkpoint
Something new: Of the two yellow iron bars at the checkpoint, the inner one (nearer Salfit) is raised and always open.
One soldier at the civilian position at the entrance to Ariel, opening and closing one of the bars from a distance.
Taxis arriving cross immediately, the soldier remains at the gate, opens and closes it by pressing a button.
At the exit from Ariel toward Tapuach the police are again stopping cars for inspection. A yellow taxi is detained.
10:30 Za’tara/Tapuach junction
We saw no police or army on the road. A Border Police soldier in the guard tower.
10:45 Ma’aleh Efrayim checkpoint
No soldiers on the road.
An army jeep below the tower; soldiers are apparently in the tower (we didn’t see them).
Many flocks of sheep in the dry fields along the road. We distributed clothing and shoes we’d brought with us.
11:20 Hamra/Beqa’ot checkpoint
Something new here also: tall, thick green poles have been erected at the checkpoint, apparently for shade canopies.
We saw five soldiers at the checkpoint.
A car that arrived from the west (Area A) at the same time as we did enters the checkpoint, goes through quickly and waits for the passengers who got out for inspection in the building.
From the east – there was no one there when we arrived; three cars came and a minute later were waved through without inspection.
11:25 A commercial vehicle arrived from the west; again, passengers get out, the vehicle waits for them, three minutes later they leave.
Sparse traffic. It is very hot down here at the Jordan valley.
11:40 We drove on.
12:05 Tayasir checkpoint
Two soldiers at the checkpoint, a large sign reading “Lavie Rifle Company.”
When we arrived we saw a car to the west waiting for its passengers, three men, who emerged two minutes later.
A taxi coming from Tubas is quickly inspected and waits for its passengers, two women, two children and three men who emerged five minutes later.
No traffic from the east.
12:20 We left.
12:40 Hamra/Beqaot checkpoint. Light traffic
Two cars from the west. The cars and the passengers are checked separately, quickly.
From the east – empty. When two cars arrived the soldiers waved them through without inspection.
People go through the checkpoint quickly.
13:30 Za’tara/Tapuach– no soldiers, normal traffic.
14:00 Huwwara checkpoint– no soldiers, heavy traffic.
14:10 Beit Furik checkpoint– open, no soldiers.
Translator: Hanna K.
9:40 Salfit CP
This CP began as concrete Blocks which were cleared from a blockade on the road from Ariel to Salfit, about a year ago.
It began with two soldiers, a tiny booth and a few sand bags and a gate made of big plastic pieces (red, a meter and a half wide, one meter high) which were dragged away to enable passage. Only taxis were allowed to pass.
Later a bigger booth was placed opposite, at a distance of about five meters, and two yellow arms gates.
Today it is a rather big electrical CP but the road remained narrow and unassuming.
Since quite a time there is only one soldier there. He sits at a distance of about 30 meters, at the entrance gate to Ariel, together with the civilian guards there. From there he opens and closes the electrical iron yellow arms.
While we were there several taxis arrived: One arm is lifter, the taxi drives 5 meters, the arm is closed (the taxi now is confined between the two arms) the second arm is opened and the taxi goes on its way.
This is the procedure for every vehicle that arrives. For both directions this dedicated service is applied. All this by remote control.
While we were here there were no detentions and the soldier didn't even once come up to the vehicle. Both taxis and private cars passed.
09:50 We continued and after the traffic roundabout at the Ariel Kif'l Hareth junction, in the direction of Za'tara/Tapuahthere was a police jeep, a policeman and a soldier who stopped us and asked where we were going to.
They couldn't believe that we headed to Huwwara and weren't afraid. "Be careful" they advised us when were left.
We saw that they also stopped two cars behind us.
This is the first time that I see police at this point.
10:00 Za'tara/Tapuah junction.
There is no police and no soldiers on the road. While we were looking a border policeman and a border policewoman came down from the watch tower and went in the direction of the hitch-hiking station to Jerusalem.
They continued, made a round of the intersection and did not disturb the lively traffic.
At the Huwwara village all is teeming and bustling, as usual.
10:15 Huwwara CP - There are no soldiers at the CP, perhaps in the watch-tower.
10:18 Awarta gate – closed, as usual. The signpost that directed to the village isn't there, only the pillar is left. On the concrete blocks below there is a text sprayed on: "Jews, Revenge, Never More".
10:25 Beit Furik CP - There are no soldiers at the CP, and neither, so it seems, in the watch-tower.
10:40 Za'tara/Tapuah Junction –a soldier and a girl soldier in the watch tower.
10:50 Ma'ale Ephraim CP – No soldiers in view, neither in the watch-tower.
Many concrete blocks are scattered here, for no reason at all. The ugliness were bring into the beauty of the landscape is blatant. At the junction there are signposts for Jericho, Beit Shean, Mehora, Patzael, The Jordan Valley….The Arabic lettering is sprayed in black.
Goat herds grazing the last greenery that is left, the shepherds wave in greeting.
11:15 Hamra/Beqa'ot CP – from afar we saw two cars and a truck waiting to pass the CP and enter the valley, (when one stands at the CP one doesn’t see this queue). In the direction of Tubas there are five cars waiting. We stood behind them, waiting. Later we see three soldiers.
The truck opposite us entered the CP, was checked and Passed quickly.
Towards our side one of the soldiers began waving. Each car waits to be waved on and passes, without being checked. Opposite us a car entered the CP. the driver opened the doors and the luggage compartment. There are two soldiers with him.
11:35 All in all we saw that the soldiers wait for a car convoy to form and then they pass the cars on in sequence, in both directions.
This means that sometimes cars had to wait 5-8 minutes until they were let pass.
There were few pedestrians. One car waited 8 minutes for its pedestrians, whereas another car waited one minute for a single pedestrian.
12:00 Ma'ale Ephraim – it is empty.
12:25 Za'tara/Tapuah – There are soldiers only at the watch tower at the parking lot.
12:40 Samaria crossing – 6cars and one truck are waiting at the entrance to Israel. In the other direction the road is open and there is no checking.
Shalom, Shalom and we passed immediately.
Translator: Hanna K.
10:00 Samaria crossing– there is no queue.
10:10 Salfit CP –a single soldier stands at the entrance to Ariel and opens the gate. He opens the gate when cars ask to enter Salfit. During our stay at the CP two cars entered.
10:20 -A command-car is at the entrance of Kif'l Hareth.
10:30 Za'tara/Tapuahintersection – A bus stops at the CP and a border policeman checks the ID cards of the passengers. Five minutes later the bus goes on its way.
A soldier and his friend inquire as to our identity, check our papers and a few minutes later enable us too to continue to Huwwara.
11:45 Huwwara – The CP is empty. We saw a military jeep driving to Beit Furik.
11:50 Beit Furik –it is empty.
12:05 Za'tara/Tapuach intersection – there are two border policemen at the CP.
12:20 Ma'ale Ephraim – it is empty.
12:40 Hamra/Beqaot – there are four soldiers at the CP. There are four cars in the queue. There almost is no traffic. The checking is quick, both for pedestrians and for cars.
13:10 Ma'ale Ephraim –it is empty.
13:25 Za'tara/Tapuah intersection – The border policemen left. The CP is empty.
13:45 Samaria Passage – there are a few cars in the queue at the entrance to Israel.
Translation: Suzanne O.
Something new at the roadblock: Both of the yellow barriers (a 5 metre distance between them) are closed.
Just one soldier is present, and he is not at the roadblock but at the civilian guard post at the entrance to Ariel, 50 metres from the roadblock.
The gates (barriers) are electric and we see the soldier open and close them by pressing large switches on the wall of the civilian post.
When we arrived a car was waiting to leave Salfit.
The soldier left the guard post and went to the roadblock, took documents, returned to the post and spoke on the telephone.
An ambulance arrived to go into Salfit. The soldier opened the gates from a distance and the ambulance drove through.
The car also started to drive through and the soldier shouted and caught it between the arms (yes, just like the entrance to the Safari Park, into the lions' area…)
With hand signals from a distance he instructed the driver to reverse, the permit has not yet been received. From a distance, the acrobatics with the gates, the hand movements and the car appeared to be a real work of art.
Then three taxis arrived from both directions and the whole thing became very complicated. The soldier, alone for some reason, ran from the roadblock to the electric switch, and from there back to take documents, and back to the telephone… waving, arriving, walking, opening and closing.
The car crossed. The taxi waited over 5 minutes to enter.
The soldier checks absolutely every car and this takes a lot of time, much more than usual.
Totally void of police and soldiers.
In Huwwara village, by the falafel stand, there is a Border Police jeep.
There are no soldiers. The traffic is heavy.
The deep hole on the road has been repaired!
There is a roadblock!! We haven't seen a roadblock here for a long time.
A Border Police jeep is parked under the guard tower, they inspect only those entering.
When we arrived there were 9 cars in the queue, the first one was a taxi.
One soldier was with the documents from the taxi passengers, one was on the telephone.
Within a few minutes a third soldier got out of the jeep and waved the cars (now there are 13) through, leaving just two taxis and takes documents from the passengers.
The first taxi is released; a few more cars join the queue. The cars continue to be waved through.
A private taxi with three young passengers from Kartaat is also held up.
Two taxis are released. We also left.
Awarta roadblock is closed as usual.
At Huwwara even now (11:00 a.m.) there are no soldiers.
On Road 60 and afterwards on Road 55:
Westwards of Jit a police jeep stops vehicles randomly.
Opposite Azzun there is a military jeep at the observation point.
There is no traffic, the crossing is very quick.
Nablusarea 17 March 2012
Translation: Suzanne O.
There are, as usual, two soldiers at the roadblock, while we were here no cars passed through, we continued on.
There is a jeep with soldiers in the car park, on the road itself there are neither soldiers nor police. Traffic is heavy, as usual.
10:10 a.m. At the entrance Beita a-tachta there is no roadblock.
We entered the village. We continued on up to Beita el Fuka, we drove by Awarta and arrived at Akraba.
The people are welcoming, happy to meet and talk to us. We introduced ourselves and gave out visiting cards.
We were pleased to see a lot of factories, large and small, between the villages.
We thought it would be nice (and useful for livelihoods) if we (MachsomWatch) were to decide to divert some of our budget in a specific year to establishing some kind of necessary enterprise (possibly one employing mainly women?).
We returned via Road 6 to Za'tara/Tapuach Junction.
There are two soldiers on the road but they do not hinder the traffic.
At the entrance to Beita
Now there is a military jeep here, we didn't see a temporary roadblock (spikes) and a few minutes later the jeep drove off in the direction of Huwwara.
There are no soldiers, the traffic is heavy.
There is a huge hole in the road at the exit from Nablus and each car slows down and passes it carefully, it causes a fair size traffic jam.
We didn't see any soldiers.
Children sell green almonds and the regular coffee seller is also here.
There aren't many cars.
Those entering Israel are inspected rigorously, which takes quite a few minutes.
Translation: Suzanne O.
At the entrance to Ariel
9:50 a.m. ,This checkpoint, which started with 2 soldiers and one small concrete block, is now a real obstacle: two iron barriers, in the middle – between them – a booth, a lot of concrete blocks and heaped up sandbags.
A big yellow taxi arrived and crossed with no inspection, just with a nod of the head, the documents of the driver and passengers of a similar taxi leaving were also not inspected.
At the entrance on the right there is a new sign "Entrance is solely with a permit from the Security Department of Ariel", and on the left is the familiar red sign "Entrance to Area A", etc.
10:15 a.m. There is a Border Police jeep and four border police in the car park.
There is a police jeep on the right of the road – the police stop many cars for inspection, they allow us to pass.
Ma'aleh Ephraim CP
10:40 a.m. There are no soldiers on the road; apparently there are some in the lookout tower.
At the right hand turn from Hamra we stopped at the Beit Dejan village grocery shop, the village is not connected to the electricity grid, we bought a few things and sat and had coffee with them.
11:30 a.m. We arrived as they changed shifts. There was a Hummer jeep plus a military lorry and about 20 soldiers.
Very slowly 8 cars started to queue from the eastern side. We were unable to see how many were queuing from the western side of the roadblock.
11:45 a.m. The checkpoint opened. From east to west there was no inspection, nine cars crossed within a minute.
From the west – there are two inspection lanes! This is new! Up to today we have only seen one lane.
Very many leave one after the other after the inspection at the pedestrian crossing.
The taxis which had brought them that get here from Area A, are thoroughly inspected – doors, boot, driver's documents.
Now there are about 30 people in the queue - men, women, children and babies.
12:00 p.m. Most of the pedestrians have left.
It seems that today the inspections of cars are extremely tough.
A new spectacle: in the middle of the roadblock, in the west to east lane, a white lorry is parked. We asked the Palestinians about it: according to them it has been there for two weeks and is used for inspecting bags. There is no equipment of any kind in the lorry but 2 soldiers inspect bags manually (not always). This means they empty the bag and inspect the contents.
12:45 p.m. There are two soldiers, no traffic.
1.00 p.m. A taxi with six passengers arrives from Area A. The passengers are allowed across quickly, but the vehicle is inspected slowly.
A lorry arrives from the east– they signal it to stop and the driver shows his documents and opens the lorry cover for inspection.
The driver's documents are inspected at the terminal in the booth, after 3 minutes they are returned and he drives on.
Only then do they wave in an additional car which has been waiting on the western side.
In other words – the roadblock is one way today.
Compared to other days, it takes a long time for each car to be inspected (3 – 5 minutes).
1:20 p.m. We left.
1:40 p.m. Once again there is a long pedestrian queue.
There are a lot of cars from the west.
Ma'aleh Ephraim CP
2:00 p.m. Empty.
2:30 p.m. A jeep with a number of soldiers (4?) is parked at the entrance to Nablus. They do not hold anyone up but they oversee the traffic.
At the exit from Nablus – there are no soldiers.
Translator: Hanna K.
Today it is very cold, grey, rain from time to time.
10:05 Salfit CP
Another improvement at the CP: a booth has been added at the left side of the road.
As usual there are two soldiers at the CP. The CP is open, there is no traffic.
10:15 Za'tara/Tapuah intersection
A military jeep at the parking lot
Two soldiers (at least) on the observation tower in the center of the CP.
On the road itself there are neither soldiers nor police.
The traffic is lively, almost as usual.
10:25 On the road from the Za'tara/Tapuah intersection to Huwwara, at the right turn in the direction of Beita, a military hummer is parked horizontally and blocks half a lane.
Three soldiers on the road stop and check vehicles leaving Beita.
They stop a vehicle and wave to the others to pass,
They check I.D.s, trunk. They release it a few minutes later.
Immediately after releasing one they stop another and so on and so forth.
The checking seems haphazard and doesn't last long.
One pedestrian is stopped and checked.
At the center of the village, just opposite the falafel stand, there is a military hummer.
The soldiers are in the jeep.
11:00 Huwwara CP
The CP is empty. There probably are soldiers in the tower, we couldn't see clearly.
The traffic is lively and free.
11:10 Beit Furik CP – empty
11:15 A hummer is parked at the entrance to Itamar
11:20 Again the Huwwara CP
This time there are soldiers here. A military Hummer is parked at the exit from Nablus.
There are four soldiers on the road, they signal and stop cars for checking.
Again – the selection seems haphazard, one vehicle is checked while a soldiers signals to the others to go on driving, and when the checking of one is finished they fish another vehicle.
While we were there they released the cars quite quickly, after checking the I.D.s and the trunk.
11:40 Sara Junction
We see a police car, no detainees. Later, immediately after we turned into road no. 60 we saw a police jeep hastening in the direction of the junction.
12:00 We entered the road to Beit Ibba. We saw no CP not even a flying CP at the Shave Shomron settlement area.
Actually, just as we went back to road no. 60 a military jeep entered and drove in the direction of Beit Ibba. We didn't check.
12:30 Anabta CP
The checkpoint is empty.
We bought coffee from the man with the thermos (it is rainy and cold and he is here!)
and collected a Palestinian hitch hiker who, according to him, had been waiting there for an hour without anybody stopping for him.
12:40 Kafriat/Te'enim passage
No cars as opposed to sunny Saturdays. We returned to Israel.
Translation: Bracha B.A.
09:30 – The Shomron (Samaria) Gate
The checkpoint is empty.
09:45 – Salafit
There were two soldiers at the checkpoint, which was also empty.
10:00 – Tapuach Junction
There was a jeep at the junction but no police or soldiers present.
10:15 – Maaleh Efraim
There were three soldiers at the checkpoint, which was unusual.
10:50 – Hamra Checkpoint
There were four soldiers present. We met a man who told us that Danny Ashkenazi, the person responsible for security, is constantly harassing Palestinians. Passage is going smoothly.
11:20 – Tayasir Checkpoint
Four cars are waiting for passengers who are being checked. One of the drivers told us that they have been waiting for more than a half hour, and it was unusual for so many cars to be waiting there on Saturday. We met a lot of people who were waiting and we asked if people were ever allowed to show their documents and pass through without getting out of their cars. They explained that everything depended upon the soldier and whether he was pleasant or not. Some soldiers let people through quickly and other "bad" ones deliberately make people wait for an hour and a half. This is particularly true of people going from Tubas to the Jordan Valley.
By 11:40 all the cars that had been waiting and their passengers had crossed through.
12:30 – Hamra Checkpoint
There is a long line of cars waiting and there are six soldiers, a bulldozer, and a command car at the checkpoint.
13:00 – Maaleh Efraim Checkpoint
The soldiers who were there this morning are now gone and the checkpoint is empty. There is at least one soldier in the watchtower.
13:10 – Tapuach Junction
There are no soldiers present.
13:45 – Hawara Checkpoint
There are no soldiers present.
13:55 – There is a temporary road block at the entrance to Tzaara. At 14:05 a jeep arrived and evidently gave an order to leave, and the roadblock is taken away. People can pass through freely again.
14:20 - – Eliyahu Gate
There is a long line of cars waiting to cross into Israel.