'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah)
After a break of about a month we’re back in business. Nothing good has occurred since our last visit other than the hollyhocks’ splashes of color along the roadside.
06:20 ‘Azzun ‘Atma. Unlike what we saw a month ago, the checkpoint was now congested and inefficient. The soldiers are still from an artillery unit, but what a difference. Palestinians said they’d waited on line two hours or longer. The checkpoint opened at 05:00 but only two computer stations are operating. The soldiers say there’s no budget for a third soldier.
We looked toward the agricultural gate; to our surprise, the guard tower no longer stood at the end of the road. We didn’t check whether the road was open to all or closed.
Work on the ‘Azzun ‘Atma bypass road proceeds apace.
Shomron crossing: No police at the exit from Israel. The entrance is very congested.
07:00 Za’tara/Tapuach: Border Police soldiers man the checkpoint. They said they’re always there, but we’ve been here often and never seen soldiers in position. They didn’t interfere with the heavy traffic (The soldier said he reads the reports on our web site).
Yitzhar/Burin checkpoint: No military activity.
07:10 ‘Awarta. A military vehicle parks in front of the yellow bar blocking access to the isolated house. We asked the soldiers what the purpose of the yellow bar is and why the Huwwara and Beit Furik checkpoints are open, but this one is closed. Their answer wasn’t to the point. When we discovered one of the soldiers lives in Alon Moreh we left in order to avoid a political argument over rights.
A number of soldiers inspected a Palestinian vehicle on the road from the DCL base across the way.
07:50 Beit Furik. The checkpoint isn’t manned.
07:55 Huwwara. The checkpoint isn’t manned; the parking lot is deserted.
A soldier is stationed at the road up to the Beracha settlement.
08:00 Za’tara/Tapuach. Not manned.
Shomron crossing. Traffic flows.