Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 11.10.09, Afternoon
Translation: Tal H.
Tapuach-Za'tara Junction Checkpoint 15:20
About 20 cars waiting to be let through southbound from Nablus.
On every concrete slab in this compound of the Israeli army deep in the heart of the West Bank there is a freshly painted inscription in black on a glistening white background: “Kahane lives! Rabbi Kahane was right!!”** Beit Furik Checkpoint 15:45
Scant traffic, unhampered, nothing special to report beyond the glum fact that the soldiers and army post are still there.
Huwwara Checkpoint 16:00
Golani infantry brigade’s colors are flying fresh and high over the checkpoint in the afternoon breeze, and the young soldier standing alone at the entrance post overseeing the entrance of Palestinian traffic into Nablus – usually nowadays driving in unhampered, unchecked, unstopped – this little soldier stands proud, and with a slight hand gesture suddenly stops every new-looking shiny car, scolding its driver for not slowing down to be checked, requiring him to open his trunk and then letting him go with another slight gesture. He returns to his relaxed leaning against the concrete slab so that from the point of view of the Palestinian drivers arriving at the entrance with a swift swing as befits the new procedures, and not anticipating any exception – only when they pass him by as usual, he leaps out, waves his arm angrily roaring “Stooooop!” at their ‘rude speeding’.
There are plenty of new vehicles in the area these days and none of them escapes this demonstration of unrequited authority which, had we not seen it with our own eyes, would have been our candidate for a comic skit TV contest.
At 16:25 a police operations vehicle bristling with antennas and other secret paraphernalia arrived at the checkpoint entrance and two men in grey and black garb (unidentified but definitely reminiscent of crack police/Border Patrol/special units/swat teams/hush hush services) got off, donned bullet-proof vests and rifles, joined the soldiers and sniffer-dog team and began to thoroughly inspect every vehicle coming out of Nablus with young male passengers.
In the evening, internet brief-news-items reported a fake-grenade thrown and a 9-cm. long knife found in a Palestinian’s belongings. Tough competition over the media panic glands: What’s scarier? A fresh, general, explicit nuclear threat out of Moscow or 9 cm. of Palestinian knifery in the heart of the West Bank?
As we got on our way back to Israel at 17:00, the little soldier was still teasing pretty-car drivers on their way into Nablus.
We took the Yitzhar-Jit-Nabi Elias road back. On our way we saw police/army vehicles stationed individually at several places, including the Funduq-Jinsafut junction.
** For the uninitiated: “Rabbi Kahane was right!” is the call to arms of the ultra-racist followers of (Rabbi!) Meir Kahane whose political and social motto was to drive the Palestinian Arabs of this land out, forcibly if need be.