Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 29.11.09, Afternoon
Translation: Tal H.
And so on the historical date of the UN resolution on the partition of Palestine
we traveled back and forth between the Jewish state and the Palestinian non-state
and monitored the lively, illuminated Jewish traffic arteries and the crowded, dusty palestinian traffic capillaries that with proud nails hang on to holiday tradition,
knowledge of the land and roots that no administration clerk nor any
soldierpolicemansettlerwoman splattered with mother’s milk and gun powder will ever uproot.
The exit from Burkin to the Barkan industrial zone parallel to road 5 is not blocked, and the metal arm gate across the access road to Kifl Hareth was open both times we passed it.
In general, frequent army traffic was seen on the roads we traveled.
Za'tara/Tapuach Junction Checkpoint 15:25 –
Inside3 the compound, a patient was being transferred from a Palestinian to an Israeli ambulance.
A new text (new for us, anyway) now adorns the army’s concrete slabs around the checkpoint: -
‘A righteous Gentile helps Jews’.
We began our shift with a short errand to Sawwiya village near Tapuach Junction and refreshed out visual memory with the sight of the village surrounded by hilltop Jewish settlements – four colonies planted atop the hills all around and quite adjacent, and another colony outpost and town in the remaining direction, nearby.
At Beit Furik Checkpoint
The soldiers were checking vehicles incoming to Nablus, and since only one lane was used, exiting cars were forced to wait. A line of about ten cars formed but they did not wait long.
Our guess was that because Nablus is frequented by numerous Palestinian citizens of Israel during the holidays (this is now Id al Adha, Holiday of Sacrifice), cars are inspected to make sure no Jews enter the forbidden city.
We chose to take a quick turn along the compound entry and monitor it from further above, at our usual spot. After seeing that the waiting line as not long and traffic proceeded ‘normally’, and seeing a soldier deliberating (or arguing with the observation tower) whether to head out in our direction and ask us all the usual questions – it took time – both he and we retired. He, back to his post, and we on the Apartheid road back to Huwwara. Two minutes later, on the road just off the entrance to Itamar colony, a flying checkpoint (jeep and three soldiers) waved us to a halt. This was a small, perfectly personal checkpoint just for us – probably the unit’s little compensation for the previous forfeiting of interrogating us at the checkpoint. We were asked if we were coming from inside Nablus (!?!), who and what we were, and how and where, it didn’t seem as though they really intended to ask, more as though they were obeying orders of some bored junior commander. The only non-automatic moment was when one of the three, finishing up, asked me with a glint in his eye – ‘Wait a minute, whose side are you on??” I told him I was not a side person and we continued to Huwwara.
At Huwwara Checkpoint
Traffic was streaming without any significant stalls, although here and there a line formed but only for a moment – like in Beit Furiq, probably checking nationality inside vehicles with Israeli license plates. The exit lane was proceeding as usual. No sniffer dog and trainer were in sight, instead we saw a police-army armored vehicle and two Forces men with lots of accentuated muscles, bullet-proofs and guns, and black surgical gloves.
On our way home at Za'tara/Tapuach Junction Checkpoint
An elderly Jew in a police vest (looked just like the police force volunteers who do traffic tasks) was handling a Palestinian driver and car (giving him a ticket perhaps?).
We took off for Israel and a magnificent sunset at 5.00 p.m.