'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 14.3.10, Afternoon
Since closure has been imposed and no workers are allowed into Israel, we skipped the part of our shift that usually takes us to Yrtach, and chose to travel the Palestinian roads connecting the three villages near Beit Furiq and Huwwara checkpoints.
Tapuach Zaatara Junction Checkpoint 15:00
45 cars seen coming from Nablus, inching into the inspection area.
On our way back two hours later, traffic was moving without inspections.
In the town/village Huwwara, as on the concrete wall of the quarry opposite the Huwwara checkpoint, the black tarred Hebrew letters are still blaring the inscriptions “Blessed be He that did not make me a Gentile”. We continue to mention this and emphasize the fact that if the army continues to dominate this area and does nothing to erase this filth, then we conclude that it condones it.
Huwwara checkpoint 15:15
As we arrive, a very large group of soldiers (not Border Patrol) is present.
15:23 For reasons unknown to us, the soldiers do not let the cars exiting Nablus through, so a very long line is formed. 10 minutes later traffic is resumed but at a snail’s pace, every car gets a ‘glance inspection’.
The entry lane too is filled at a standstill with a very long queue.
Sniffer dog and trainer arrive at 16:05.
Lieutenant X comes over to explain to us, with charming smiles, that we should please proceed to stand outside the checkpoint compound, further off where we would not see a thing, because… as long as we stand where we do, the soldiers cannot concentrate on their job and are too busy thinking about our safety and well being.
16:15 Traffic is resumed and back to normal, and we relieve the distracted soldiers of our worrisome presence and proceed to Beit Furiq.
Beit Furiq Checkpoint 16:25
The Israeli flag drapes the concrete slabs, and no soldiers in sight.
We then bumped merrily along the pot-holed narrow village roads connecting Awarta, Hudala and Beita, ooing and ahing at the lovely landscape, exchanging lots of smiles with lots of children, went in to take a peek at the present state of the greens market in Beita where the fruit traders received us with joy and curiosity and wouldn’t let us leave without taking with us a bunch of bananas as a token of their appreciation that we oppose the checkpoints and that we come by to say hello.
And then we led our shame back home to Israel.