'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 4.11.10, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
There is almost nothing new at the roadblocks.
A great number of labourers await transport from their employers.
In the mesh sleeve there is quite a short queue. Upon our arrival the sergeant sends a Palestinian young man back to the end of the queue. The reason: "We continually tell them not to push and not to lean on the turnstiles which are liable to collapse. See, they have now learned a lesson and stand calmly without pushing".
The soldiers are not In a hurry. According to them the employers have not yet arrived and by the time they come to collect them, the labourers will have crossed the roadblock.
Contrary to past practice, today every labourer with a permit from the Military Police is checked by a metal detector in the computer cube.
The agricultural gate is open.
At Sha'ar Shomron there is no police presence at the entrance and no queue at all at the exit.
The entrances to Marda and Zeita are open.
Traffic is heavy and there are vehicles at the top of the road. There are no soldiers in the position on the menorah roundabout.
A military vehicle is parked at the entrance to Itamar and there is another one opposite Awarta.
The routine 'no roadblock' continues. Traffic flows with no hindrance. We turned 'as if to go into Nablus' and no one took any notice of us.
Peace and quiet: we hardly saw a car. We asked about the cars lurking around Madison Way and, according to the soldiers, there is a rise in the number of stone throwers 'from both directions'.
The soldiers who guarded the entrance to the town were not by the car park today but close to the check point for those leaving town. Therefore there was no one to explain to us immediately that we are not permitted to enter the holy area of the roadblock. As we were nearing it there began an exchange of messages from the lookout tower to the soldiers below and a Military Policeman hurried towards us and asked us to "take to our heels and get out of the roadblock area". He was not prepared to talk to us. When I pointed out our right as a human rights organisation he insisted that we are not a recognised organisation and that we are hindering him in the performance of his job. He, of course, threatened arrest …
We moved back to the yellow barrier and then the second in command of the Kfir Company arrived. He was quite happy to have a conversation. He told us that the olive picking should be completed by the end of the week and that, after the beginning of the season, there had been no particular problems. We asked about the people who come to Joseph's Tomb and he told us that a visit had been arranged for them yesterday. He wanted to know if his soldiers were behaving well.
A military vehicle is parked there and two soldiers observe the road without hindering the traffic.
There is a continuous flow of cars, but from time to time a vehicle is directed to the side of the road or sent to the car park. In the car park there are two dog handlers. According to them they are spread out over the whole area now and so only get to Za'atra infrequently.
In the car park the dog sniffs a commercial vehicle full of groceries for a long time. After this he moves on to sniff a bus which is detained on its way to Ramallah. All the passengers alight from the vehicle and the dog slowly and thoroughly inspects the seats. Only after the dog has completed its search do the soldiers start to check the documents of some of the passengers via the wireless. After 27 minutes the passengers return to the bus. We asked the soldiers why they had not checked documents while the dog was sniffing around the seats and, according to them; it was because of a hold up by those who were checking numbers for them.
According to them they try to make the checks as quick as possible.