Beit Furik, Huwwara, Ma'ale Efrayim, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sat 11.6.11, Morning

Tali B.,Ruti R


Translator: Ilil N.B.

9:00 We’d been asked to get a power of attorney signature from A. in Tulkarem.  We drove to meet him at a checkpoint north of Irtah.  This is a checkpoint for entering cars only, not for pedestrians or exiting cars.  We weren’t familiar with this checkpoint; in my opinion, our shifts don’t get here.  There’s a police car present, and a policeman in black uniform is looking at passing cars and (randomly?) stopping some of them for examination.  Thank God I’m not a policewoman.

Two soldiers stand behind a concrete barrier.  We approach them and ask to pass by foot in order to get A.’s signature, who is standing beyond the fence, 20 metres from us.  One of the soldiers immediately says no. Forbidden.  The law.  Instructions.  This is how it is.  Go to Jubara. 

But he’s here, we say, only a few steps from us, he’ll sign the paper and we’ll go…

The soldier wasn’t persuaded.  He grew even stiffer.

But the second soldier took the initiative to call and get permission for us to cross, get the signature, and return.  We shook hands and our hearts swelled, filled once again with hope.

11:45 Za’tara (Tapuah) Checkpoint

Three soldiers stand here between concrete barriers.  There’s also a police car. We didn’t witness any delays of cars.

12:45 Huwwara Checkpoint

Closed! A sign says “Road closed” and traffic is redirected to the right, towards ‘Awarta.  We drive to ‘Awarta.

The checkpoint at ‘Awarta is open! For over a year, the yellow metal arm here has always been closed.  But now, movement is lively.  Turns out there’s construction at the usual road going from Nablus to Huwwara.  We couldn’t resist and went through the checkpoint, seeing a lot of movement.  We continued to Beit Furic.

13:00 Beit Furik Checkpoint

A jeep stands at the checkpoint, and soldiers are checking papers and the trunks of cars going into Nablus.  We left without being examined.

13:30 Za’tara (Tapuah) Checkpoint

A soldier stands at the tower.  The road is clear, and movement is lively.

13:45 Ma’ale Efrayim Checkpoint

There are no soldiers at the checkpoint.

14:15 Hamra Checkpoint

Four cars arriving from the West Bank stand by as their occupants are taken to the examination room.  Five soldiers are present at the checkpoint.  Movement in both directions goes as expected: cars going into the West Bank aren’t examined, but merely wait for a soldier’s raised arm as a signal to pass.  But cars going into the Jordan Valley are meticulously examined, including permits/licenses, doors, and passengers.

14:15 Hamra Checkpoint (again)

We’d heard that soldiers here were delaying cars leaving the West Bank, and that they were letting cars go through to be examined only once at least three cars were present. So we returned to check this out.  We didn’t see it happening.  We saw soldiers letting cars pass in both directions without any particular delays.