Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 23.5.10, Afternoon
Shaar Shomron Checkpoint 14:40 Time to mention again the “decorative-acoustic wall” that has been erected here, hermetically surrounding the entire compound where formerly we could see the Palestinians detained, seated on the ground for hours, and harassed in various ways. Now, of course, there is no way to know what really goes on, disguise is impeccable.
Tapuach Zaatara Junction Checkpoint 15:00 About 20 vehicles waiting to be checked coming from Nablus and surroundings, no detainees seen in the compound.We did see an unusually large number of police vans onthe roads.
Beit Furiq Checkpoint 15:30 No soldiers or checks seen. The original part of Itamar settlement shows eight brand new houses overlooking the road. Freeze on new construction in the settlements, anyone?
Huwwara Checkpoint 15:40 On the exiting lane from Nablus, two Palestinian transit cabs are parked, waiting.An army jeep is parked vis-a-vis, on the lane incoming to Nablus, a bit on the side, directly before the concrete slabs hiding the soldiers’ toilets at the foot of the observation tower. Just before the jeep another Palestinian cab is standing in wait.Next to the jeep, a soldier securing its business, and the checkpoint commander who keeps bringing and taking –
Young Palestinians, students by their looks, who each in turn get ‘escorted’ out of the waiting cabs to the parked army jeep, gets their crotch pockets tapped by the commander, and then stand next to the open window of the jeep talking to the two persons inside, for about 5 to 10 minutes. At the end of this procedure, the student is ‘escorted’ back to his transit, and the next one goes through the same ritual. Eventually when all the students in that transit have been processed, the cab takes off and another is stopped, to continue.
This went on incessantly for the entire hour we stood there watching.
So far the facts.Any reader is invited to interpret them as she will. From our distant observation point naturally we couldn’t actually hear the exchanges, nor did we find it proper to chase the transits on their way out and question their passengers after they had thus been delayed and harassed. Naturally, we were reminded of all the testimonies of the recent years about an army jeep that is in fact a miniature shabak (secret services) questioning office that fishes out the young Palestinians for targeted pressure in order to create reserves for imposed collaboration and other such occupation niceties.
At 16:30 we proceeded on our way.
Nebi Elias village (near Qalqiliya) 17:00 Next to the grocery store where we stopped, 3 Border Patrolmen (sorry, one of them a woman) stood alongside their jeep. The shopkeepers told us that lately they have been doing that on a daily basis, coming, standing there for about an hour and a half or two, stopping cars and harassing people. Please note, as we finished our shopping and chatting, and came out – the BP were gone!
Going back in we wondered out loud and the local guys laughed with us, guessing that ‘in our honor’ the BP had up and left. “They’re afraid of you!” Yeah, right...
And then we took our shame home (in Israel) to rest.