'Awarta, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 30.7.09, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
Today is a Jewish holiday - there are practically no settlers on the roads they are all in synagogue.
There is no inspection at all at the entrance to the territories.
The traffic on the roads is light; the entrance to Marda is open and to Zeita closed, as usual.
There are no soldiers at the western roadblock. A few cars queue from the direction of Huwwara. The officer directs taxis and buses to the car park all the time to check ID cards at the computer. He is surprised to see us. He has never met any of us. He is a resident of Kfar Adumim and is convinced that his roadblock is guarding the State of Israel, "because this is the State of Israel".
Taxi passengers tell us that in Nablus the talk is that from tomorrow (!) there will be no more inspections at this roadblock. On our way Ettie tries to find out from various people whether the rumour has any basis in fact until, in Awarta, Abu Rokon the DCO officer tells us unequivocally that it has not.
A Border Police vehicle lurks in the car park opposite Beita.
There is a short queue of cars to leave the town.
A dog handler is present and soldiers direct cars to the side of the area for her to make a thorough inspection. The commander explains that this is because there have been warnings. We checked out the possibility of going into Nablus and he explained that last time the soldier should not have permitted us to enter the town. The orders are that until the middle of August Israeli Arabs are permitted to cross freely during the week. Jews wishing to cross must provide signed (by whom?) permits relieving the IDF of all responsibility for their safety.
There are some four soldiers in the whole of the huge area, including the one guarding the dog handler.
From time to time a soldier asks to see someone's documents and a queue of more than 20 vehicles builds up immediately.
A family from Klil tries to cross on foot and the soldiers turn them back, telling them to get into one of the cars. They explain to us that the army does not want to station forces here to guard and inspect pedestrians because of two or three Palestinians who choose to cross on foot in this heat.
There are no cars at the roadblock. We are delighted to meet Abu Rokon and talk to him about the situation.
At the entrance to the DCO offices.
11 Palestinians sit in the shade of the shed waiting for 8:30 a.m. At least here it is not hot and they are not perspiring.
There are two soldiers on one side and one on the other side, and they are all bored.
There is no queue.
Yitzhar/Borin roadblocks are empty.
In the town of Huwwara there is one Border Police vehicle and a second one is still opposite Beita.
At Za'atra there is a queue of 37 vehicles at the exit from Huwwara. The inspections are slow and the officer does not open an additional lane. According to him he is doing his utmost to ease the traffic.
We were not inspected at Sha'ar Shomron. We were delighted that because of the optional holiday Road 5 was also not busy or jammed.