'Awarta, Eliyahu Crossing, Huwwara, Jit Junction , Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah)
8:50 We entered the territories through the Eliahu Gate. There was nothing unusual there.
Jit junction: A police car stood on a hill north of the road, with a view of the junction.
Givat Gilad: A military command car stood at the entrance of the road to the settlement.
Yitzhar: Three police and military vehicles were at the side of the road leading to Yitzhar.
Huwwara checkpoint: The road into and out of Nablus was open. There was a military jeep standing by the watch-tower.
The police and the army seem to be on alert for anything that might happen in the area.
The valley that stretches between Beit Furiq and Beit Dajan, which was plowed and sown about one month ago, is now just beginning to turn green. The green sprouts are coming up in all of the fields, despite the lack of a good rainfall. We certainly hope the rain will come soon.
Awarta: We spoke with the owner of a small grocery store. He is the uncle of the 2 young men who were imprisoned for the murder of the 5 members of the Fogel family in Itamar. They were given 5 life sentences each and are in Megiddo Prison. Only the father is allowed to visit them, and then only when he can get a permit.
We asked him if there was any harassment from the settlers in Itamar. He said that they come into the Muslim cemetery at the edge of Awarta. They break gravestones and vandalize the graves. There is a cave in the cemetery. A small building was built over the cave long ago. Perhaps it was considered a holy site. The settlers have taken over the building and the cave and have declared that it belongs to them. As the store owner said: “All is permitted to them; nothing to the Palestinians.” He has land on the other side of the road into Awarta, but he is unable to get to it or to work it.
Outside the shop we met a young man. He is 22 years old, married and they have a baby. He works in construction when he can find work, but he is unable to get a permit to work in construction in Israel. He’s too young!
At Za’atra (Tapuach Junction) the car was stopped by a policeman. He opened the door to the back seat and asked if everyone had buckled the safety belt. Tamar, who was sitting in the middle, admitted that she was not buckled in. She asked to take the offense on herself, and also asked that she be given only a warning because she is usually very careful. The policeman asked Nadim to move the car to the side while he went to bring the traffic ticket or the warning. He returned quickly and said that since he had no warning forms with him he was sending us off with a verbal warning to be sure to fasten our seat belts. We thanked him and went on our way.
We returned through the Shomron Gate.