Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 12.11.09, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
From 6:40 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.
The roadblocks are present to show the Israeli army's control of the Palestinian area. Palestinian pedestrians can only be seen in the streets of their villages and while they await their Israeli employees in the early mornings.
Cars in Za'atra, Huwwara and Beit Furiq drive through with absolutely no hindrance, a nod of the head by the soldier at the checkpoint signals a glance into the car and permission to drive on. The roadblock prerequisite is operational: the driver slows down as he arrives, he doesn't know if he will be inspected or not. Whoever has learned that a complete halt is not necessary, or who 'dares' to continue driving as if he has rights is re-educated by being sent to the back, to come to a complete halt and only then to continue.
While we were there, there was no build up of vehicles at any of the roadblocks we visited.
In this case we went to meet people in the villages and heard that they were being prevented from cultivating their land because of proximity to the settlements. The roads are full of banners proclaiming the commemoration of Kahana's death, 'the war is with the Arabs', 'no u-turns will be made'. All the banners are written in pure Hebrew. Yes, and we also saw banners proclaiming a festive welcome for the 'heroic' soldiers who declared that they will not evacuate Chomesh.
At 10:00 a.m., we passed by Za'atra again. When we arrived two checkpoints were functioning and cars drove through almost without hindrance. Apart from those the soldiers decided to inspect, both cars and passengers. Perhaps because of this there were about 30 cars in the queue at the roadblock. In the car park there was a Palestinian minibus whose passengers waited outside it. About a minute or two later ID cards were returned to the passengers and the vehicle continued on its way.
In a conversation which developed between us and the soldiers we heard the following things: 'according to the Jewish religion it is forbidden to drink coffee with an Arab because when you leave he will stick a knife into your back'; 'this is our land and 'they' should not be here'; 'people from different places have things in common but it is less so with Arabs' and a quote: ' we are doing them a favour by letting them cross'. (Question) 'What do you expect?' (Answer) 'That they stay home and keep a low profile'.
The queue disappeared after an additional bus was sent to the car park for inspection and immediately went on its way; we too drove on feeling angry, frustrated and fearful of the future here.