Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 21.10.09, Afternoon
Translation: Aliyah S.
14:50 - Za'tara Junction:
From west to east the checkpoint has disappeared; there are no soldiers.
The north-south checkpoint is working as usual; about 20 vehicles are in line.
14:56 - Huwwara checkpoint:
About 13 vehicles are waiting in the lane out of Nablus. They are checked and then go through.
Two vehicles are being held up at the side. After a minute one drives away, the second, a taxi, is still standing there. There is a lot of of baggage on the roof of the taxi. It seems that the soldiers are stopping each vehicle and opening the doors. Now we see that the vehicles going into Nablus are also being checked and a few are also being held at the side.
One small truck that wanted to go into the city was stopped and made to turn around and go back the way it came; he wasn't allowed to go into Nablus and it isn't clear why.
The line of cars going out of Nablus grew longer. Elinor called the DCO in order to understand the reason for the long line, the checking and the cars waiting on the side, even though we know the reason from the reports of the morning observers. At the DCO office they told her they would look into it and call her back. We didn't put much hope in that.
A soldier walked up to us and asked what we were doing. Elinor showed him her tag and said "Machsom Watch". He answered, "sabbaba" and walked away. The checking of cars going into Nablus seemed to be random.
A peddler approached us asking for clothes. While he was talking to Aliyah the soldier told him that he was supposed to be on the other side. The Palestinian explained that he only came to say hello to us. The soldier said OK but he should go to the other side; the soldier walked in that direction and the peddler followed him.
The line going out of the city continued to be rather long but we could see that the cars were going through within a reasonable amount of time, a few minutes.
15:30 - Beit Furik checkpoint:
Three vehicles were coming from Nablus and one was going into the city. The cars stopped to be checked cursorily. More cars arrived from Nablus and we see that the checking is random.
On our way back from Beit Furik, by Awarta, we see an army truck with a yellow metal gate on it. Hamdan thinks there is a path nearby which the army wants to close.
16:00 - Za'tara junction:
At least 30 vehicles were in line from Nablus. One car is being held on the side; we're not sure why.