'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 18.11.09, Afternoon

Observers: 
Ofra H., Hagar L. (reporting)
18/11/2009
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Afternoon

Translator:  Charles K.
 Roads closed, roads open:The exit from Brukin to Route 5 is open, after having been blocked for a number of years.  It’s too early to rejoice, because according to the Palestinians the roadblock was removed temporarily for the olive harvest and will soon be put back.  The exit from the village of Adik is still blocked.

The entrance to Kifl Haris from the Ariel junction was blocked a few days ago, as was the road between Kifl Haris and Haris.  The roadblock punishes thousands of people because someone claimed that boys or youths threw stones. 
The effect of the roadblock:  a person wishing to drive from
Kifl Haris to Haris must take the road from Jamma’in to Deir Istiya, get off at Deir Istiya and drive to the Barkan junction, and then enter Haris. 
A very big detour instead of a driving about one kilometer.
The exit from Jamma’in to Route 505 is still blocked (since September, 2007, to the best of my recollection.) Manned checkpointsHuwwara –
Vehicles leaving Nablus are seldom inspected (one out of every four).  Almost no vehicles entering Nablus are inspected.  When we arrived at the checkpoint we saw one detainee but weren’t allowed to approach him.  Later he was handcuffed, blindfolded and taken to a booth inside the checkpoint.  We notified Hamoked - Center for the Defense of the Individual that a youth had been arrested, in case his family comes looking for him.  The soldiers had a long conversation with him, and it looked as if they also allowed him to use a cell phone; we hope he notified his family of the arrest.  We left before we saw whether he had been released or taken away.
 Awarta truck crossing –
Random, infrequent inspections.  The trucks continue on the narrow, curving road through Awarta.
 Beit Furik –
Traffic flows almost freely.  Random, infrequent inspections.  New soldiers at the checkpoint.  They say the gate isn’t closed at night unless there’s an alert.  Soldiers are on site at night also.
 Za’tara junction –
Traffic flows south almost freely, but only one lane is open and when soldiers stop a car for inspection all the traffic stops and waits until they’re done.  No inspections of vehicles going north, west or east.  Since, every other time we checked recently, we saw that the exit was open to Route 505 at the
Majdal Bani-Fadl junction, going east to the Za’tara junction, we don’t understand the logic of the inspections at the Za’tara junction. Azzun Atma 18:10,
When we arrived, there were no longer any people waiting at the checkpoint.  The gate closes at 22:00.  The soldiers remain in the tower next to the gate and, they say, can hear someone who asks to go through (Insh’allah).
 On our way back we drove up toward  Kifl Haris to look at the roadblock, and while we were there talked to residents and taxi drivers.  They say the army doesn’t object to opening the crossing to Salfit, near Ariel, to traffic, but that the head of the Ariel municipality is against it so they don’t open the road to Palestinian traffic, which would shorten significantly the distance from the whole area of Haris, Bidya, etc, to Salfit. Can we do anything about this? 

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