'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah)
The first day of Sh’vat; the almond trees around Nablus haven’t blossomed yet.
06:30 Azzun Atma. Wonder of wonders, even though it’s early there’s no one waiting at the checkpoint. Dozens of laborers on the “Israeli” side of the road wait around small bonfires for transportation to the settlements.
One of the contractors “complains” that recently more Palestinians have been granted Israeli work permits; they prefer to leave through a different gate and aren’t working for him.
Does anyone know what the pay difference is?
We met two female European volunteers beyond the fence. They told us the line to exit on the other side of the village is very long. They asked about the holes in the fence on our side; we offered to show them. The soldier said that if they left the village they wouldn’t be permitted to return, so we parted.
When we returned to the main road we saw construction had advanced on the wall along the new road.
Shomron crossing. No police at the exit from Israel. A new traffic light is stuck near the crossing, its purpose unclear (there’s no intersection).
07:05 Za’tara/Tapuach. The checkpoint isn’t manned. Heavy traffic on the road up from Huwwara. The streets of the town are also very busy, unusual at so early an hour.
Yitzhar/Burin checkpoint. A military vehicle parked at the turn to Yitzhar settlement doesn’t interfere with traffic.
Awarta. The yellow bar blocks the way, as usual.
07:40 Beit Furik. There’s no military presence at the checkpoint.
The village pupils walk along the road studying for exams, making driving dangerous.
07:50 Huwwara. The checkpoint isn’t manned.
A soldier on guard at the road up to Beracha settlement.
Yitzhar/Burin checkpoint. The car still guards the road to Yitzhar settlement.
08:00 Za’tara/Tapuach. No one in the inspection booths. Beyond the checkpoint Israeli police check documents of the driver of an Israeli truck
Six Israeli cars stand by the side of the road, their drivers in a group whispering to each other. Is that a suspicious gathering?
Shomron crossing. Traffic flows.