'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 7.10.10, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
After the festivals – the building continues.
The queue is neither particularly long nor crowded within the mesh sleeve. A Military Police soldier has taken control of the roadblock and the soldiers obey his orders. There are two inspectors in the cubes and the inspections are relatively brisk.
From time to time the wide gate is opened to allow pupils or women to enter the village and, after a quite long wait, a Palestinian with a donkey and cart to exit through it.
We didn't see the young coffee sellers between the queuing cars.
We asked the contractors in their cars whether the 'roadblock is good' today. According to them the fact that there is no crowding is not due to the efficiency of the soldiers but because work permits have been taken away from labourers under various pretexts. (As punishment for returning late to the village, etc.)
Have there been increased complaints lately about the work permit policy?
Kfir soldiers have taken over the Huwwara area and have, apparently, been well trained for their new job.
At the west of Shomron there are no police at the entrance and the queue is not long.
The entrances to Marda and Zeita are open.
Only one lane is open and there is a queue of some 40 cars plodding slowly up the hill. On the way back we stopped to ask a soldier to explain the build up and he said it was only the morning rush hour and that it had quickly dispersed.
There are two military vehicles at the roundabout with the Menorah.
A military vehicle arrives at the car park opposite Beita.
A military vehicle is stationed in the roadblock area.
The artillery men are still here and once again the spikes are laid out across the road allowing only one car at a time to pass. The soldiers beckon a car at a time from each direction and inspect the documents of almost every car driver. Today we didn't see anyone opening the boot of their car.
In conversation with the commander he explained that the brigade orders are to lay the spikes out and to make checks at certain times of the day (apparently during the rush hour) Also when there are specific warnings. At other times they inspect less. He is also beginning to recognise those who cross regularly.
We asked about the followers of Joseph's Tomb and, according to him, he has not yet seen them nor has he had any guidance regarding them. He will be getting a surprise tonight as it is their custom to pray there at new moon.
There are Kfir soldiers wearing their mottled berets. The traffic is not heavy and the ID's inspections do not cause a queue to build up.
We asked about the driving policy on Madison Way during the picking season which is due to start. According to them the orders are to permit the farmers to drive to their groves on the road but only when it has been arranged in advance and they are accompanied by the DCO.
Very few soldiers are to be seen in the area. Two from the Kfir Brigade are in the position from which they verify that Israelis without permits do not enter the town, two Border Policemen are in the positions opposite and a sergeant moves around between them.
The traffic is heavy and flows almost without hindrance. From time to time (randomly) a Border Policeman sends a car to wait at the side while he inspects the papers of the passengers on his computer. As we said, this does not hinder the traffic from continuing to flow.
The sergeant scrutinises and says that the main body of their work now is to wait for warnings from on high, and then they inspect more thoroughly. The yellow iron barrier also waits for the moment it can be used to lock the crossings.
Two soldiers chat to each other by the side of a vehicle but do not arrest the man. Maybe it is preparation for guarding the pickers?
At the exit from Huwwara opposite Beita we did not espy the military vehicle.
The traffic is now flowing. The military vehicle is still standing guard in the middle of the Menorah roundabout.