'Awarta, Beit Furik, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 8.3.10, Morning

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Zehava Gov., Yael S., Ariella C. (reporting)

Translator:  Charles K.

07:35  Zeita
The entrance is still blocked by mounds of earth.

07:42  Za’tara junction

Three cars detained in the parking lot.  According to the passengers who had to get out and stand off to the side, they were detained randomly.  A dog handler with a cocker spaniel is inspecting the vehicles.  The passengers are annoyed that the dog is in their car. After the inspection they get back in and drive off.  A truck that arrived, according to the driver, from Hebron, has also been detained.

Six cars coming from the north are waiting at the junction.  Cars cross one after the other, occasionally one is detained for a few seconds.  No cars from the other directions.

08:10  Huwwara checkpoint
Five cars waiting at the exit from Nablus.  A soldier, and then the checkpoint commander, asked us to stand behind the position at the entrance to the parking lot.  We tried to argue, but eventually moved.

08:25  An army Hummer is parked at the entrance to Itamar.

Beit Furik checkpoint

Not manned.
No checkpoint at the turn to the road leading to Beit Furik and Beit Jan.

Awwarta checkpoint

On the way back we had arranged to pick up a resident of Huwwara whose son had been run over by a settler's car three years ago, when he was 13, and has been hospitalized since then in the Re’ut nursing home in Tel Aviv.  He hasn’t visited him in a month.  He has an entry permit to Israel.  At 10:00 we reached the Shomron gate.  Unlike in the past, we were stopped and asked who we were.  Of course, when they saw that there was a Palestinian with us we were asked to pull over to the side.  The head security guard arrived and then the checkpoint commander (both of them civilians, like the other security personnel). 
The Palestinian was taken for a security check.  We were told that only Israelis can go through this gate, and that we have to take him to the Eyal crossing or to Irtah.  We explained that we didn’t know.  They went to consult and finally made an exception and let him go through.  In the past he went via Qalandia and Jerusalem, a trip that took four hours.