'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 2.12.10, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
It now appears to be more difficult to get from Kafr Kassem to the Kfar HaYarok than from Nablus to Ramallah.
There are a lot of labourers and many vehicles waiting at the side of the road for the right combination of labourer and contractor.
In the netted sleeve there are very few labourers. Both the military police and two soldiers are stationed close to the opening of the sleeve and the labourers walk by them on their way to the computer check. From time to time a soldier checks the bags of food held by the labourers with an electronic device.
The soldiers asked us to leave their area of the roadblock and we found no reason to stay. They appear to be strict on order because they did not allow the young coffee vendors to go into the other side of the sleeve and sell coffee to the queue.
We asked the drivers to explain the short queue. They said that since the completion of the olive picking the number of permit holders has dropped drastically. During the olive picking season many Palestinians were given a two month permit and these have now run out. (Have the army proof that the large number of permits endangered the security of the State? Or is it that a contractor is making money by bringing in foreign labour?)
There is no police presence at the entrance and no queue at all at the exit.
The entrances to Marda & Zeita are open.
There is heavy vehicular traffic at the top of the road. There are no soldiers in the lookout post on the menorah roundabout. Soldiers from the Border Police in smart uniforms have taken control of the roadblock.
In Huwwara town military vehicles drive around and one is parked in the town centre.
The 'no roadblock' routine continues. The traffic flows with no hindrance. A soldier asks how we are from the heights of the lookout tower.
The yellow barrier is chained up and bars the crossing to vehicles; the sign directs them to Huwwara roadblock.
A generator hums under the tower which testifies to the presence of soldiers within. They are probably monitoring that no Palestinian drives along Madison Way. It would be interesting to know if they open the gate to their neighbours in the adjacent house when they want to drive to the village or to an ambulance from Awarta hurrying to the hospital in Nablus. We hooted and waited but they did not put their heads out and we were unable to find anything out.
There are almost no cars at the entrance to or the exit from Nablus and no queue at all. A dog handler is present. From time to time a car is stopped at the side of the road for a thorough inspection. When we approach two soldiers hurry over and ask us to leave the area of the roadblock 'for our own safety'. The whole point of humanitarian organisations does not impress them. We move away to the yellow barrier and this does not satisfy them. In their opinion the roadblock reaches up to the roundabout. One of the soldiers, accompanied by a sergeant, marches behind us holding his weapon in his hand until we get into our vehicle and leave.
A military vehicle is parked facing the road with its engine running, but with no soldiers in sight.
There is a constant light stream of cars. Border Police are inspecting a car thoroughly. A traffic police patrol car is parked near them.
There are notices along all the roads calling for a mass assembly on Sunday bearing the motto – establish new settlements.
On the way home from Kafr Kassem to the Kfar HaYarok junction we crawl along bumper to bumper for almost an hour.