'Azzun 'Atma, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 11.11.09, Morning
Translation: Hanna K.
Complaints about delays in the afternoon at Azzun 'Atma; a mobile CP of the Border Police at the Yitzhar Junction; Visit at the Eb'n Sina college (for welfare professions),spitting at the Barrels CP.
07:05 Azzun Atma
Many workmen are still waiting for employers to come and collect them.
At the CP itself there are few people who cross over. Below are complaints which we heard from the workmen: pressure and delays at the second CP, which makes it necessary for them to leave very early; a further delay in the afternoon on the way home makes things very difficult; work at the settlements watched by armed soldiers is distressing and humiliating. We checked with the soldiers the single complaint that this morning the CP was not opened on time, that the checking was slow and that they waited for a long time. They answered unanimously that they opened at 04:30 as required and that no workman waited for more than five minutes. They added that they had no interest in delaying, and that it was in their own interest that queues shouldn't accumulate! (they sounded trustworthy)*.
The level of anger and frustration mounts. Some workmen express openly their despair, that they don't have any expectations from their own authority, and even less from the Israeli government. The solution for their diffcult situation and for their removal from their land would, according to them, be achieved only by armed resistance!!!
It would be worthwhile to listen to the expression of their feelings!
*It would be worthwhile to arrive from time to time at the scheduled opening in order to check the situation thoroughly.
From the west there are no people. From the north there are up to 8 vehicles waiting.
At the parking lot there is a police car, but we didn't notice any detainees.
07:45 The village of Huwwara
One can notice a great commotion of vehicles and pedestrians (not necessarily in the direction of the school). Later we understood the reason for this - many people gathered to go to Ramallah, for the memorial ceremonies commemorating the fifth year of Arafat's death.
At the Burin/Yitzhar Junction (on the road to Huwwara): a rolling checkpoint of the border police. Two taxis and their passengers were waiting for the checking to end. But despite this we drove first to the CP to check the situation there.
There is no special commotion. The passage is usually free. When we arrive a midi bus was waiting to be checked but was released shortly afterwards by the commander. In the direction of the entrance to Nablus they mainly stop cars with Israeli number plates for checking, according to the commander: "especially because the entrance for Jews is absolutely forbidden!" We exchanged words with the commander who came to us on his own initiative. One still can't see the promised widening of the lanes, according to him this will be accomplished within a short time.
08:30 Back to the Burin/Yitzhar Junction
We asked the Border Policemen what the purpose of the rolling checkpoint was, as free traffic had been promised. According to them there are alerts, but they will go away shortly. From the Palestinians we meet next to the Ceramics Plant we learned that there is such a rolling CP every day. Our presence somehow sped the checking up, but when we left we again saw two taxis detained for checking.
The Eb'n Sina College
We were also told that soldiers patrolling on this road and on the road leading towards the new college for welfare professions, Eb'n Sina (which was opened a month ago, before that it was active at Ramallah), were harrassing girl students, and this is what happened yesterday. We therefore went to the college to clarify the matter.
First we talked with a few girl students on the stairs, they hadn't heard about such an event. As we expressed out wish to visit inside, we were respectfully invited to do so by the management. In the room of the headmistress we heard information about college and told them who we were. The headmistress too hadn't heard about the event. For all intents and purposes we left visiting cards and necessary phone numbers.
At the college which is budgeted by the Authority there are a few hundred students from all over the Authority, men too (during the last years when the college acted at Ramallah no boys studied there), and they undergo their training period in hospitals and clinics. A few years ago they had a connection with the Tel Ha-Shomer Shiba hospital, and they would be happy if this connection would be renewed and knowhow and experience could be exchanged. We promised to ask and to pass this one to the appropriate people.
The students arrive by themselves, and there are also transportations. At this point the headmistress asked for our help regarding one of the drivers who is employed by one of the bus companies who is detained every time, especially at Ateret. We transferred his details to Hanna. They bed us farewell very warmly.
It seems that the location of this college at Huwwara will benefit the whole area.
09:40 On the Huwwara Road
The road is absolutely jammed by hundreds of vehicles packed with passengers and decorated with the flags of the Palestinian Authority and Patach's. Everybody is travelling to Ramallah to the memorial services. It turns out that an order was issued not to detain vehicles between 08:00 and 10:00 to enable them to get to Ramallah without difficulties. In the moment before and after the time was used for the rolling CP. Now it is not to be seen. This is the peak time, and we had difficulty to pass on to road number 60 at the Burin/Yitzhar Junction.