'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 2.5.13, Morning
It’s been a hard week in the area around Nablus, but there’s almost no sign of it on the ground.
Everything’s normal at the Za’tara/Tapuach junction; the wheat fields along the road await the harvest, but there are noticeably more military vehicles on the roads “to make people feel safer.”
06:15 Azzun Atma. The fenced corridor to the revolving gate is almost empty. Those waiting for rides tell us that yesterday it was a madhouse. The reservists serving at the checkpoint can’t explain why there’s no congestion today.
The earthmoving operations on the road to Sha’arey Tikva are proceeding apace.
Shomron crossing: No police at the exit from Israel.
06:50 Za’tara/Tapuach. A long line of cars. Kfir soldiers at the checkpoint. They’re not checking IDs, but even a brief conversation results in congestion at this hour of the morning. A soldier stands at the hitchhiking station where the settler had been stabbed; another is stationed in an emplacement across the road. Someone had sprayed “revenge” in Hebrew on one of the Arabic signs.
Yitzhar/Burin checkpoints. A police vehicle parked by the side of the road to Yitzhar. We tried to locate the torched fields shown on TV, but from the road everything looked pastoral. Hitchhikers stand confidently on the Madison route and at the Itamar junction.
07:20 Beit Furiq. No soldiers. Girls walk to school carrying flowers. We couldn’t find out what the occasion was. An acquaintance from the village told us that there had been a brush fire yesterday near Gid’onim. Settlers beat Palestinians who came to help put out the fire.
07:25 Awarta. The yellow bar still blocks the road. Another huge block of stone has been placed on the road leading to the yellow bar.
07:30 Huwwara. We could already see from a distance the line of cars on the road to Nablus. To our surprise there were no soldiers in position on the way to Nablus, but there were on the road coming out. The Palestinians, out of habit, slow down when they see the soldiers and a line forms. The soldiers seem to be there primarily for show because they’re not harassing cars going through.
A soldier is stationed at the road up to the Bracha settlement. A settler waits at the hitchhiking station; opposite him, across the road - a soldier in a tower.
07:45 Za’tara/Tapuach. Two soldiers at the checkpoint, but they don’t interfere with traffic.
Shomron crossing: Nothing unusual.