'Awarta, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 12.11.09, Afternoon
14.13 The entrance to Zeita on road #5 blocked as usual.
When we returned (at 16.13) we were helped by residents of the place who had come back from work who had been let off at the before the barricade and were waiting at the other side so as to get home. to find out more about the blockade which had become the reality of the last two years. Since October 2007. Because of the shooting of a passing car on the settlers at the bus stop at the entrance to Ariel collective punishment was enforced on the villagers of Zeita and Jamma'im. There is no passage between the two villages other than on road 5. The villagers of Marda were saved from this punishment because they are closed into a ghetto and cannot get out from other places while the residents of the other villages have other exits even though these are on bad road. The head of the town council with the help of a translator we were told that their lawyer had gone to court about the blockade but their request had been denied because it was an army security matter. There has been talk that when the roundabout at Ariel would be built the matter would be considered again but the roundabout now exists and the barricade is still in place. He will not oppose it if we try to raise the matter again of having the blockade taken down.
There are many settlers at the hitching post, more than usual.
A random checking of cars going south in the direction of Ramallah. 38 were waiting to pass.
14.30 Crossroads of Burin, road 60. An army jeep is parked there.
Much traffic in both directions. Now and again a car entering Nablus is checked and a van with what is considered goods is turned back to the village of Huwwara so as to take the long road to the checkpoint at Awarta. Now and again Ids of passengers of cars leaving Nablus are checked. The soldier checking aims his weapon the entire time at the faces of those being checked. He stopped a black car and after checking it sent the car back ( we understood that there was a passenger whose passport had not been renewed).
A yellow car which had been stopped next to the black one had all the passengers taken out and told to stand in a line with their hands behind their backs. The soldier's gun aimed directly at them. When the same soldier left the checkpoint (for a break) his rifle was still aimed directly at those coming towards him. The commander explained that this was his personal weapon, 9 kilo in weight, was not loaded?? and so it was comfortable for him to carry it.
15.10 Awarta. 3 cars with goods wait to be checked.
15.15 Beit Furik.
From where we stood we saw two lanes which were blocked. The one by plastic cones and the other by a command car. The cars passing had in fact to make their own lane. A rather strange man on foot came from Beit Furik but was sent off by the soldiers.
16.02 Crossroads of Burin and Huwwara.
A command car stops three cars. There are two in uniform accompanying a civilian.
At the crossroads of Burin on route 60 there is still an army jeep as had been before.
16.10 Za'tara. Soldiers check a van and all the passengers wait outside.