'Anabta, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Jit, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 27.12.09, Afternoon
Translation: Tal H.
15:00 Tapuach/Za'tara Junction Checkpoint
No dog nor detainees seen, hardly any vehicle traffic.
In Huwwara town/village we hear that quiet reigns despite the recent troubles in the area. Burin-Yitzhar-Huwwara road junction – Border Patrol check Palestinian service cabs. 15:15 Beit Furik Checkpoint
15:30 Huwwara Checkpoint
For the first time ever we are required to present our IDs, both of us watchers and our devoted driver as well. We raised our eyebrows more or less all the way down our backs, wondered crisply, and ended up choosing not to have it out with the fresh soldiers on the spot (as far as we recall, these are Shimshon Battalion braves who have been service-conditioned in Gaza). At the sight of our MW tags, the soldier commented: ‘Anyone can print such a tag for themselves’…
Usual traffic pace, lanes are being reworked as already reported by others, inspections of incoming vehicles to Nablus are held in the entrance to the ex-taxi-park.
A sniffer dog and mistress do their business and cars wait and wait.
The driver of a car not dog-inspected receives his ID only after waiting for 40 minutes.
A car is inspected by dog including dismantling of seats. Checking time: half an hour.
16:30 Jit Junction
3 obviously bored and tired reservists lean on their Hummer at the roadside staring at the passing vehicles.
At the Greenhouse junction just before Deir Sharaf a huge line of waiting cars coming from Nablus – while the Havviyot Checkpoint is unmanned - we learn later on after being let through, unlike Palestinians, that opposite Beit Leed village Jewish settlers by the dozens are holding a protest vigil, accompanied by civilian police and soldiers with a Hummer. In hindsight we realize Palestinians were not being let through for fear that settlers would harm them.
Anabta Checkpoint - manned but traffic flows. 16:50 Irtach
We were alarmed to see a crowd of hundreds waiting outside the turnstile to get in.
We called the army hotline immediately, complaining of this. As we approached more checking posts were opened and the whole crowd flew in and continued on their way at top pace. People were nearly trampled and crushed there between others waiting behind them and the mighty metal bars of the turnstile practically flying at their faces.
It seemed as though this has become the hour of changing the shift at the checking posts?
If so, how appropriate… Just at the crush hour, then and only then must the shift change take place, let the Palestinians wait and wait outside, get annoyed, desperate, and then all at once be allowed to charge forth and be crushed.
At 17:10 we headed back to Israel.