Azun Atma, Huwwara, Awarta and Beit Furiq 16 December 2010
Translation: Suzanne O.
A sunny day after the stormy and rainy day – the hills are turning green again.
There is a long queue of some 50 labourers queuing for inspection of their documents. The queue moves slowly. The soldiers explain to us how dangerous it is, security wise, that the labourers should stand close to the checkpoint. For this reason when one completes his inspection and leaves a few seconds pass until his friend is released from the turnstile and gets to the inspection cube.
The little coffee vendors try, to no avail, to coax customers to buy.
There is no police presence at the entrance and a short queue at the exit.
The entrances to Marda and Zeita are open.
There are some 30 vehicles in the queue while soldiers question a lorry driver.
The traffic is heavy at the top of the road. At the roundabout without the menorah a soldier is in the checkpoint.
At the entrance to the town Huwwara, opposite the entrance to Beita, a military vehicle is parked.
They are not staffed.
We can't see the soldiers at the top of the watch tower. All the lights around the roadblock are alight as if it is the middle of the night. The road to Nablus is barred in part by rocks and plastic roadblocks. Drivers are forced to drive from side to side.
Today it appears as if the soldiers have completely abandoned the place. The water mobile tank is not beside the tower again and we can't hear the sound of the generator. The question is where is the man with ginger hair who holds the key to the metal barrier barring the crossing to the solitary house and how can he be alerted if there is an emergency?
The traffic flows freely in both directions. Two dog handlers are present; they are busy training their escort – the dog. Two young boys riding on donkeys try to cross the roadblock and are sent back whence they came. Now it is official – in the IDF a donkey is not a vehicle but a pedestrian and pedestrians are not allowed to cross via the roadblock.
We try to clarify this with the roadblock commanders by they appear to be suffering hearing impairment and ignore all our approaches.
Two Border Police cars are parked at the side of the road and the soldiers are having an internal discussion.
The traffic is still heavy; from time to time there is a slow down and a build up. According to the Border Policemen they do not have enough manpower to open an additional lane.
At Shomron Crossing roadblock and queue has built up at the exit from Israel.