Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 29.10.09, Afternoon
14.45 The entrance to Zeita is closed as usual.
14.50 Checkpoint of Za'tara.
There is much pressure of traffic from Nablus and Ramallah. In the opposite direction…from Nablus to the south there are two checking posts. Random checking. 16 cars wait for some sign from the soldiers…are they being checked or not?
Much pressure in the line of those waiting to leave Nablus and this almost during our entire shift there.
We did not see the end of the line and there is only one checking post. Many cars enter Nablus. When we arrived 3 cars were waiting outside the line and in a few minutes two were freed. From the right hand side next to a small container which seems to be meant to be used as a toilet a soldier stands. 14.50 We noticed that the third car was still waiting at the side and went to see what was happening.
The driver said that his cousin had been in the small room since 12.00. This happens each time at each checkpoint and after some time he is freed. They already know this and each time are told that that is because his ID number is problematic and is similar to that of a wanted man and so he waits for him.
The commander comes to us and says that the number is suspicious. He is waiting for them to come to take the suspicious man. He demands that we go back to our place at a distance from the checkpoint. As we went back we saw the man coming out with two soldiers who had been in the building…we had not seen them before. He is handcuffed and blindfolded and sent back with a push. The soldier with his drawn weapon stands at the opening to the building like a sentry. Opposite the door on the other side of the road we see his cousin who spoke to us before upset and restless. We phone him to ask what is happening and he says that the detained man is being beaten. From where we are we cannot see while he himself is opposite the opening and can see. A car from the DCO arrives and tries to find out what is happening. We phone the humanitarian centre to report this and find out what is happening and the answer that we get is that he has been freed. 16.20 The man exits without handcuffs and blindfolds and goes to his cousin who is waiting. We managed to speak to him. He is always detained for no reason and nothing helps. This happens time and time again. He said that he asked the soldiers to let him go to the toilet as he had been detained for 4 and a half hours. Not only did they not allow him to do so but forced him to his knees, hit him in the stomach while he was still blindfolded and with his hand tied at the back.