Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 9.2.10, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
The earth barrier is still here, cars are parked on either side of the barrier.
There are five vehicles from the direction of Nablus; we didn't see any cars detained.
A minute after we arrived, there was a concerted assault of soldiers upon us. It appears that our camera (video) bothers them although they do not say so.
They claim that we are disturbing them (we are standing as far as possible to the side!) and it is a military area, we should stand 20 metres from the entrance to Nablus check point (i.e.: in the field, more or less). A jeep draws up and again someone absolutely shouts at Natalie ("It's a military area and you are not allowed to be here".) We continue to stand at the side.
At the entrance to Nablus a bus is held up (5 minutes), a lorry loaded with building materials is not permitted to enter - it will have to cross at Awarta roadblock. They continue to inspect minibuses and buses on what appears to be a random basis.
At the exit from Nablus - the usual routine: all the passengers are taken off a taxi, stood in row, all their documents are taken from them, a dog handler inspects the vehicle, they wait 15 minutes (sometimes more), documents are returned. This happens again and again.
In the meantime the Border Police insist that we are disturbing their work, they contact their commander who orders them to detain us, to demand our documents, etc.
The commander arrives, he immediately starts to bark (really!) at us to give him our documents and that we are detained, that we are causing a disturbance, that he will arrest us, and so on and so on... what really bothered us was that he shouted so much, right into our ears. We asked him to show us his documents - he did not show them but barked his name: Kadi Shawi, ID no. 1128123.
He took our documents, looked up our criminal records, continued to shout all the time (an attempt to frighten? To humiliate? To show his soldiers how to deal with such as us?), shouted "Don't lift your hand to me". (He recorded the whole incident). Well, really! He called the police and drove off "to an important meeting".
We waited 20 minutes, a policeman and a policewoman arrived. The policeman asked pleasantly what had happened - we told him, as did the Border Policemen. They filled in a complaint form against us for 'disturbing a policeman while he was carrying out his duties', somehow we did not think of putting in a complaint against their illegal (?) harassment of us, we just wanted to get away. We signed and left there at 10:30 a.m.
As usual, we had a falafel etc., in Huwwara and drive home.