'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Huwwara, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 23.12.09, Afternoon
It was all very quiet and calm.
The traffic was flowing smoothly. New lanes for traffic are still being built - by Palestinian workers.They were working on the lane going into Nablus. The DCO came to talk to us and was very friendly. He explained that there would be one lane going into the city, and two lanes coming out; that's in the near future. In the farther future there would be 5 lanes all together.
14:40 Dir Sharraf:
The new road to Shavei Shomron is still unfinished. ?? The Dir Sharraf checkpoint is empty; not a soldier in sight.
The traffic was flowing smoothly as far as we could see. Two soldiers came toward us - to see who we are. We could see they were "miluimnikim". The first was very friendly and would have stayed longer to talk more with us, but the second one pulled him away.
I thought we had come too early and there would be nothing to write about. Just a few workers were going through the turnstile which was open all the time. Then we saw a young Palestinian woman walking back and forth on our side; she looked agitated. Two Palestinian men, waiting on the side, called to us to help her. Nadim spoke to her and found out that she had been waiting for 2-3 hours for her mother-in-law, Samia, to come through to Israel. She claimed that the woman had a permit and all the papers, but that she was being denied permission to enter. The young woman had been in contact with Samia by cellphone but now she had no contact and didn't know where she was. We immediately walked to the gate that goes to the administration offices and asked to speak to the person in charge. A very nice and polite young guard spoke into a phone and told us the person would come to see us soon. We stood talking to the guard, an Ethiopian, who wouldn't give his opinion of the checkpoint but said he was only working there to make a living. Meanwhile the person in charge passed where we were standing several times, saw us and didn't stop. Too busy, I suppose. After about a quarter of an hour he finally deigned to look our way and I asked him about the woman named Samia, who they were holding and wouldn't allow through.
"There's no one who is being held. No woman is inside," was his answer, and he turned away. We turned back to look for the young woman, and she was gone. Nadim hadn't seen her leave. Had her mother-in-law been allowed through while we were talking to the guard? Had they both left without a word to us? Had the woman, Samia, left and gone back home again without going through? It's a complete mystery.