'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 11.6.09, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
This time we came through the Eliyahu Gate.
14:10 An ambulance parked at Jit junction next to soldiers in a command car.
Vehicles coming through weren't inspected.
14:30 Huwwara checkpoint.
Few minibuses in the parking lot, and few pedestrians leaving Nablus. A., the DCO representative, says that until 14:00 there was heavy traffic of people leaving, and now it's less. The "humanitarian" line off to the side stalls from time to time - a female soldier can be heard yelling, not clear what, while pushing back women, children and older men.
The x-ray machine used for checking belongings is located near this line.
We didn't see that anyone had been detained.
People entering Nablus still crowd into the narrow turnstile on their way into Nablus.
We're told that, beginning Saturday, the pedestrian crossing will be eliminated, and passage through the Huwwara checkpoint will be in vehicles, like at Za'tara. Later we heard that it won't be this Saturday, but the next one.
The checkpoint commander prohibits us from photographing; when we don't stop he announces that he'll call the police.
M., the teenager, says that his younger brother who worked in the village of Burin was handcuffed yesterday and jailed, accused of throwing rocks at soldiers.
A Palestinian belonging to a peace organization in Ramallah thanks our organization for our presence at the checkpoints, and says that Obama's initiative should be supported in all its aspects.
15:30 We see 3 booths for inspecting vehicles leaving Nablus that are manned for the first time. Three female soldiers check IDs, accompanied by soldiers providing security. From time to time passengers are asked to put their belongings through the x-ray machine located, as we mentioned, near the pedestrian shed. We counted about 25 vehicles waiting to be inspected, but the line stretched farther than we could see.
15:40 Police arrive at the checkpoint, but don't come toward us...
When we ask one of the taxi drivers at the checkpoint how he'll make a living after the changes that are planned, he says that he could do so, for example, by taking people to Ramallah, but when he went to the DCO to get a permit - as a resident of Nablus - they told him he couldn't get one because he's young...!!!
We meet representatives of the church and one of our members accompanying them.
16:25 Awarta checkpoint.. One truck on line to be inspected.
16:40 Beit Furik checkpoint.
Now open from 05:00 to 23:00. At night the yellow gate is closed (the one near Nablus). In urgent cases at night the observer in the tower, together with other soldiers, is supposed to open it. We're told that within two weeks the checkpoint will be open 24 hours a day.
When the shed once stood, only the ground is now visible. That's good.
16:55 Awarta checkpoint. 4 vehicles waiting on line to be checked.
17:30 Za'tara checkpoint. 16 vehicles waiting from the north (Nablus, Huwwara) - one inspection booth open. The western inspection booth isn't manned.