'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 21.12.10, Morning
We went for a circuit of the checkpoints after a few months that we hadn’t been in the field. The change in the atmosphere is palpable.
We entered through the Shomron gate without any delay and drove toward Azzun Atma.
07:50 Azzun Atma –
The checkpoint is empty. The DCO representative approaches and explains that many people crossed at about 6 AM; now it’s quiet and there are no problems.
Laborers still waited on the other side of the road to obtain a day’s work. While we stood, most of them also drove away.
Za’tara (Tapuach) junction –
The position on the Route 5 side is unmanned; one position open on the Huwwara side – vehicles slow and go through without delays. The position in the center of the plaza is manned.
A military vehicle parked in the middle of the road in Huwwara; an unmanned position at the Burin junction.
08:20 Beit Furiq –
It looks like a change of shifts in the guard tower. A military vehicle with soldiers is parked at the tower’s base, but vehicles cross from Beit Furiq without being delayed.
08:45 Huwwara checkpoint –
The parking lot is empty. We’ve already seen it like this, but we’re always amazed to think of how much activity there used to be there and how much money was poured into this needless project.
No guard post at the entrance to the parking lot. Soldiers stand at the checkpoint at the exit from Nablus. A DCO representative approaches us here also when we arrive and tells us the orders are to inspect only some of the vehicles exiting. Traffic to and from the city flowed without interference.
As you know, the Awwarta checkpoint is closed, passage blocked by a yellow barrier, and merchandise now goes through the Huwwara checkpoint.
The town of Huwwara is lively, much more traffic than we used to see. The military vehicle that was parked there in the past is not there anymore.
On the way back, traffic still flows at Za’tara, and only at the Shomron gate were we stopped and asked how we were.