'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 4.5.09, Afternoon
We went through the checkpoint at 1500 on the way to Huwwara and at 1640 on the way back.
At 1500, there were 3 cars waiting on the Road 5 side and about 13 waiting on the Hawwara side. Some of the cars were stopped for inspection. At 1640, there were 20 cars waiting on the Road 5 side and 12 on the Hawwara side.
We arrived at the checkpoint at 1510 and stayed until 1610.
In the pedestrian exiting checkpoint, there were about 30 people and a trickle of people on the entry carousel. We timed one of the people waiting to exit and it took 10 minutes from joining the queue until completing the exit.
In the cars checkpoint, there were very few cars entering and exiting and most of the time there were no more than four to six cars waiting to exit. Each one, including one ambulance, was being checked and all passengers requested to get off. One taxi was asked to pull to the side and was inspected by a dog.
One taxi was not allowed to exit and had to turn back. We timed one of the taxis waiting to exit and it took 8 minutes.
All the way from Za'tara to Hawwara we saw many posters inviting people to celebrate Lag Ba'omer in Homash, a settlement which has been evacuated but according to the posters will be revived soon.
On the way to Beit Furik there was one car at the checkpoint. On the way back there was also one car.
We arrived at the checkpoint at 1615 and stayed for 10 minutes.
In contrast to other days, every car was being stopped for inspection but there were very few cars, between two to three on either side most of the time we were there. One of the taxis was asked to pull to the side and the ID of one of the passengers taken but after a few minutes it was returned and the taxi proceeded.
The checkpoint commander came to ask who we were and said that it's OK for us to stay there but asked us not to photograph. We said that we will not although we should be allowed. He said that this is a military area and we explained that since it is used for civilians, it cannot be classified as a military area and he agreed but still said that no one is allowed to photograph "his" checkpoint.