'Awarta, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), יום ד' 31.3.10, אחה"צ
Translation: Aliya S.
15:07 Za'atra/Tapuach Junction
There is very little traffic going through the junction. On the road from Nablus there are a number of vehicles. One taxi has been stopped and is being checked; all the other vehicles are going through.
We came up from the parking lot and stood in the area at the top of the steps. The soldier in charge of the checkpoint came to us from the post, checking the cars leaving Nablus.
This is the conversation that followed.
In charge: You can't stand here. I'm asking you to move to the other side of the post checking the traffic into Nablus.
We: We can stand here. We know the rules and we're not bothering anyone here.
He: I'm in charge here and you're bothering me.
We: If we were standing in the middle of the road, or by one of the checking posts and talking to the soldiers, then you could say that we are disturbing the work. But if we're standing here, at the side, not talking to anyone and not disturbing the work then we have every right to be here.
He: But I'm in charge and I say you are disturbing.
We: And we say we're not distubing!
This conversation went on for a few minutes, but we stood our ground, and after he had repeated himself about 5 times he saw that he wasn't making an impression on us. We said we would be leaving in about 10 minutes anyway, and he went back to his post.
The conversation had been polite without any voices raised on both sides.
The traffic in both directions was flowing smoothly. One taxi had been stopped coming out of Nablus and we waited until it went on its way.
There were large stones partially blocking the road, but one lane was open for traffic.
We returned to Huwwara by driving through the village of Awarta.
On the suggestion of Nadim, who had done this route in the morning, we didn't continue to the western checkpoints.
They were all empty in the morning, and Irtah was closed.
16:20 Za'tara/Tapuach Junction
There was now quite a bit of traffic but it was flowing freely.
The east entrance to Marda was open, but there were two jeeps and a soldier standing in the entrance. A third jeep was standing at the side of the road about 200 meters further on. The west entrance was also open.