'Awarta, Beit Furik, Habla, Huwwara

Observers: 
Fathiya Akfa, Yehudit Levin (reporting and photographing)
Feb-20-2014
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Afternoon

 

1)Armed soldiers stand for a long time at the center of Madame village, facing youngsters. It takes us quite a while to understand (perhaps) the reasonfor this: Five young Palestinians have been arrested in all of this, throughout the village.

2) On Wednesday several people were seen close to the plots of land surrounding (settlers' outpost) Havat Gil'ad. Apparently these are lawyers, volunteering with human rights organizations who came to see for themselves how the occupiers intend to take over the claim to these areas belonging to Palestinians, whom the Israeli Occupation forces prevent tilling.

 

13:45 Habla Checkpoint  - few people cross this checkpoint around noon. The gate will open again only in the evening.

14:10 A staff car on road 55 is seen not far from Izbat Tabib, closely followed by an armoured police vehicle.

1420: near Karnei Shomron an army jeep is seen, and from the lone house on an army staff vehicle precedes us on the move.

14:45 Beit Fourik checkpoint - unmanned.

1447 - Awarta Checkpoint - closed as always. No throughway from Awarta to Nablus.

Large banners villifying the agreement that Kerry is trying to create between Israel and Palestine have been hanging on the Huwara DCO fence for over two weeks now. The settlers are allowed to post such material there. The army does not mind.

14:50 - Huwwara Checkpoint - shift change, most likely. Several soldiers disembark from an army vehicle and bring their gear into the checkpoint.

15:02 - 4 army jeeps move in the direction of Bourin village. We follow. Fathiya contacts a friend from this village who joins us. He says that the security official from the settlement Yitzhar regularly comes into the village and parks next to the local school when the children are out for their break: he 'warms up' things. He has also hurled a teargas grenade into the schoolyard. THe Palestinian found a brand new hand grenade (weighing about one pound) in the schoolyard. They summoned the soldiers who exploded it. We were shown a photograph of the grenade, the address of its manufacturer, serial number, all in Hebrew. Now we follow the army vehicles. We are told that once in a while the army enters the village and puts up a checkpost underneath the bridge connecting the villages of Bourin and Madame. We drove in this direction. By the way, as we drove we saw another army vehicle standing at the roadblock between Bourin and Road 60. Near the bridge between Bourin and Madame several army vehicles were parked, soldiers standing next to them. Latetr they continued into Madame, some of them staying in the center of the village, next to the mosque. Earlier we had already seen soldiers disembarking from a jeep and detaining a young man standing next to other people on the road: they shackled and blindfolded him and drove away. In the center of the village stood armed soldiers, ordering storekeepers to shut down their shops. One of the soldiers had a large white knit skullcap on his head. The village children began to gather around. The village elder was on the spot. Perhaps his presence calmed both parties. The soldiers definitely looked ready to fire teargas ammunition at any moment, if needed. From the start Fathiya tried in any way she could to figure out the reason for what we were witnessing.

16:20  - only now we were informed by the DCO that an hour earlier, a Molotov cocktail was hurled from Madame at a bus driving along road 60. In the meantime we were told by the villagers that five youngsters were arrested, among them a 14-year old boy. We have the names of the detaineesinfo-icon/.

16:35 - The army leaves the village, Palestinians open up their shops again.

As we traveled road 60 back to Israel we tried in vain to figure out where exactly a Molotov cocktail might be hurled at a bus, when in fact the entire village of Madame is situated beneath the road. It's access road lies under road 60.

16:53 - Jit Junction - a staff car, all its lights flashing, stands by the watchtower at the top of the hill.

17:15 - An army Hummer precedes us near Azzun village.