Beit Furik, Hamra (Beqaot), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sat 31.3.12, Morning
Translation: Bracha B.A.
10:20 – Salafit Checkpoint
There were two soldiers at the checkpoint, on active duty, who were unfamiliar with MachsomWatch, but were happy to talk to us. The gate here is open from 06:00 to 22:00 and the soldiers have a list of public and private vehicles that are permitted to cross. The soldiers telephone to get permission to pass for any car which is not on the list. While we were there a taxi with four passengers arrived which was not on the list, and the driver got out to present his papers, and the soldiers made a phone call to clarify the matter and get permission.
The civilian guard from the nearby Ariel checkpoint, 30 meters away. arrived during the check and rudely shouted at the Palestinian driver to get into the car. He shouted to the soldiers not to let drivers get out of their cars and to check the cars while the drivers are inside. (Does he have the authority to tell soldiers what to do?) After a few minutes the driver was given permission to go and he drove to Salafit.
10:45 – Tapucah Junction – Za'atra Junction
There are six soldiers and a jeep on the road but no inspections are being conducted by the soldiers or by the police.
11:00 – Hawara Checkpoint
A new jeep is parked under the watchtower at the entrance to Nablus and two soldiers are present. An beat-up old Mitsubishi is being meticulously inspected. Meanwhile the other cars continue on their way without delay. The search continued for 7 minutes after we arrived and the passengers got back in and left. There are no inspections at the exit from Nablus, but the large hole in the road delays the passing vehicles.
11:15 – Beit Furik is empty.
11:30 – Hawara Checkpoint
The police jeep is still there as well as an army Hummer. They are waiting at the turnoff to Bracha, checking papers of passengers in a car leaving Nablus. The Hummer left the junction and continued towards Bracha. We follow and the soldiers get out and question a shepherd herding sheep. They also stop us and ask where we are going and what we are doing. After a few minutes the soldiers left, the shepherds went on with their herding and the Hummer continued on to Bracha
12:00 – Tapuach junction is empty.
12:10 – Maaleh Efraim junction is empty.
12:45 – Hamra Checkpoint
There are four soldiers present as well as the white inspection vehicle (which we have never seen in use). The soldiers here have also not heard about Machsom Watch. Only one snorts "Machsom Watch women" in a disgusted tone and turns his back angrily. There are no cars waiting and not a lot of traffic. The soldiers wave every passing car to go on its way, but one who did not wait to be waved on is punished by being forced to wait more than necessary. A group of girls leaving Nablus recognize me and shout "Ruthie! Ruthie!" and ask where Natalie is. I tell them she is in Paris and they repeat, "Paris!" in awe.
13:05– Cars and taxis begin to arrive from both directions. Pedestrians and passengers go through relatively quickly after being asked to get out and be checked.
We left at 13:20.
13:35 – Maaleh Efraim – Empty
13:50 – Tapuach – Empty
14:10 – Shomron Gate
Three cars are waiting to enter Israel.