Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 7.2.10, Afternoon
Translation: Tal H.
15:30 Za'tara/Tapuach Junction Checkpoint
The shooting post by the everlasting Habad Menorah is manned.
About ten cars await checking coming from Nablus.
15:45 Beit Furik Checkpoint
No soldiers or checking seen.
16:00 Huwwara Checkpoint
Sniffer-dog inspection of a taxi exiting Nablus reminded us of past sights: a passenger lifts his shirt and jacket, a soldier taps his bare midriff with his hands while the doggie hops inside the car. Then the man was required to stand with his back to this highly confidential procedure.
Black graffiti on the concrete wall of the quarry opposite the checkpoint compound claims in proud Hebrew:
“Blessed be He who has not made me a gentile”.
A driver exiting Nablus tells us that a Border Patrolman just caught him speaking on his mobile phone while at the wheel. He stopped him, took his personal details and promised to send him a 1000 shekel fine order by post. The Israeli Police looks after road safety. There’s law, there’s order. The moot point is just – where.
In the recent spirit of refreshing our shifts, this time we chose to travel the side (Palestinian) roads that connect several villages lying between Huwwara and Hares:Huwwara – Einabus – ‘Urif – Jamma’in – Zeita – Deir Istya – Kifl Hareth – Hares.
We noticed with certain relief that except for a single army Hummer lying in wait (for whom?) amid the olive trees at some peaceful corner, we saw no military presence – but a single Hummer suffices as a blunt reminder of withheld violence. Against the bucolic background and the smiling children who greeted us everywhere, this reminder is doubly bitter and shaming.
In the village of Kifl Hareth we saw the famous tomb of the biblical Caleb Ben Yefuneh, where religious Jews occasionally hold pilgrimages, and in honor of whom they brutalize the village and perform a proud show of force. Children at the site told us that they name the just man buried there Nebi Kifl.
17:30 on our way back to Israel.