Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 9.3.10, Afternoon
We went pass the blocked road leading into Zeita at 15:35 and saw there were more cars than usually waiting on both sides.
We went pass the checkpoint at 15:40. There were 10 cars waiting on the Huwwara side.
We arrived at the checkpoint at 15:50 and stayed for an unusually unpleasant half hour.
There was a police car at the entrance to the car park stopping many cars, giving traffic tickets for various reasons and causing traffic around the entrance. We were also stopped for inspection and after much contemplation were given a ticket for a broken side light. The policemen seemed very determined to give as many tickets as possible today.
Immediately after the police was done with us, a soldier rushed to tell us very rudely that we are not allowed to park and get off the car in the car park. We said that since this is not a military zone there is no reason why we should not. He said this is according to new regulations so we asked to see the document stating these regulations and since he did not posses such a document we remained in the car park and he left.
Then we left the car and started walking up towards the checkpoint. The same soldier rushed to us again to say that we should not approach the checkpoint and that we should stay in the car park which suddenly became allowed. We went through the same conversation again and he left to call his officer.
After a while, the officer arrived and also said that there are new regulations which do not allow us to stand anywhere near the checkpoint. We explained again that we shall not leave unless we see a document that states the regulations and that MW shifts have been standing there twice a day for years. We agreed that to prevent these arguments, he will request the document to present to future MW shifts and he let us be.
When we arrived at the checkpoint there were about 15 cars waiting to exit but while we were there and in between arguments we observed that two taxis were stopped for inspection, one in each lane, and the line of waiting cars grew. After about 10 minutes the taxis were allowed to proceed and the line shrunk to its normal 10-15 cars again.
Tulkarm/ Deir Sharaf
Both checkpoints were deserted.