'Awarta, 'Azzun, Beit Furik, Haris, Huwwara, Madama
The main experience of the tour: massive military presence wherever we went.
13:40 Habla agricultural gate
When we arrived, a bus was there with a large group of teenagers from a military preparatory course, on a MachsomWatch tour let by Yael Sadan. We had an interesting discussion with them. They asked what led us to do what we do and if it's "legitimate" and not harmful to the state, and we discussed these issues.
We answered their questions and gave information about the characteristics of the occupation and why we are in MachsomWatch, about the settlements and the limitations placed on the Palestinian population living under occupation and how all this makes it more difficult to achieve peace in our region, or to create two states which is the only true solution. We feel it was good we met.
14:10 Near 'Azzun a military jeep was stationed.
At the Jit junction we discovered a new military post!
14:35 Madama and Burin: Two soldiers stood on the hill at Burin.
14:50 Huwwara: Again a massive military presence. Jeeps descended from the upper road to the main road, and also foot soldiers.
There were soldiers in the tower. When we asked one soldier what's up, he answered that there's a security operation. Palestinian vehicles passed slowly and were held up at the entrance. Only documents were checked. The line was medium-long. We got the impression that they were looking for someone in particular. Two people were detained. At 15:00 they were released, and another traveler was taken from his vehicle and detained for questioning. There were at least two jeeps and a comparatively high number of detainees.
15:20 The "back to back" gate at Awarta is still closed.
There was no one at the settlers' bus stop. At Itamar also no one was waiting.
Huwwara was jammed, but there was life! A military jeep darted out suddenly from west of the main road. We also saw two soldiers coming from there on foot.
It turned out that today was the prophet Mohammed's birthday, and people roamed the streets handing out sweets and singing religious songs. Soldiers told them to stop! They interpreted it as joy because of terror attacks. A settlers' car that passed through also stopped, five settlers got out and told the residents to stop celebrating. They also assumed the reason for the even was terror, but when people explained the occasion was Mohammed's birthday they understood and left. The soldiers on the other hand did not understand and kept insisting that people stop handing out sweets and the music. While we were standing there two military ambulances passed at high speed, in the direction of Za'tara.
16:15 Za'tara junction
We saw three soldiers guarding three settlers who were waiting at the bus stop. Across the southern barricade of the bus stop we saw only soldiers. It looked crowded.
At the entrance to Jama'in a military jeep stood.
16:30 At Haris junction at the stoplight, the road to Emmanuel and Kedumim was manned with soldiers.