'Anabta, 'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Deir Sharaf, Huwwara, Jubara (Kafriat), Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 13.4.10, Afternoon
We arrived at the checkpoint at 14:10 and stayed for about 20 minutes. We saw a couple of people exiting and one tractor held for 10 minutes but allowed to enter eventually.
One of the soldiers approached us for a chat. According to him, the checkpoint is an exit from a Palestinian village to Israel (?!) and this is why its work is so important. I tried to mention the Green Line, the seam area, the separated parts of the village… His reply was that he does not understand anything about lines and colours and as far as he is concerned, everything on this side of the checkpoint is Israel, “don’t you see all the Israeli cars on the road?”, and his job is to facilitate as much as possible the exit of the Palestinians who need to visit Israel and they understand this very well and this is why they don’t cause trouble and the checkpoint is peaceful. Apart from these “minor” inaccuracies and misconceptions, he was very polite and friendly……
We also drove to the disputed house pass Elkana where everything was as usual, including the arrival of the settlement security jeep who asked us to leave but had no identification to support his claim that he is allowed to tell us what to do.
We went pass the checkpoint at 15:00. There was a huge line of cars from the Nablus side. It was not possible to count the cars but the line was well pass the sign of the locksmith.
Huwwara, Awarta, Beit Furik
We arrived at Huwwara at 15:10 and stayed about 10 minutes. It was quiet and less than 10 cars went through on both directions. One small truck transporting plants was stopped and turned away. We were surprised to see it driving towards Huwwara village rather than Awarta. Then remembered it is not allowed on this road. We continued towards Awarta and Beit Furik which both seemed deserted. Only on our way back from Beit Furik, about 20 minutes later, we saw the truck with the plants arriving to Awarta from the road opposite the checkpoint. It had to go the long way around, taking 20 minutes, instead of the direct route which would be a couple of minutes.
We continued via Mount Gerizim and Nablus to Deir Sharaf which was deserted and the entrance to Tulkarm which was manned but quiet.
We asked the soldiers at the checkpoint to open the gate for us. They told us to wait for their officer. We waited about 10 minutes and he arrived to tell us that we have no permission to use the gate. We insisted and he called the DCO to double-check and after another 10 minutes told us that the DCO instructed him not to open the gate. This is already the second time in a row