Beit Furik, Huwwara, Wed 24.10.07, Afternoon
Because of the terrorist attack at Ariel the atmosphere at the checkpoint and in the surrounding villages is very tense. The checking is slow and nervous. The soldiers are too busy seeing to the order of the checkpoint which angers the Palestinians, a false charge is made against us and the checkpoint is closed because of our presence.
14.45 Ariel. We went through the police station at Ariel because Daphna had promised to collect the cell phones of Zacharia of the Rabbis for Human Rights which had been confiscated. There was a great bustle both inside and outside the station because of the attack.
15.20 At the entrance to the village of Marda were three soldiers in an army vehicle standing at the turning to the village. No one allowed out or allowed in. The soldiers said that the entrance to the village had been blocked two hours earlier because of the shooting. 6-7 farmers who had just finished the olive harvest wanted to return home to Jamaiem but the soldiers do not allow them through and tell them to come back in a couple of hours. At Jamaiem is the burnt car which was involved in the attack.
15.30 At the entrance to Jamaiem also are army vehicles and soldiers and here too the entrance to the village is blocked. A young man who wants to enter is sent back because higher up the village is also blocked.
A long truck with a bulldozer on it which looks very threatening is standing next to the blocked area. We wonder if it has been brought to destroy homes in the village.
A bit further on we see three elderly people stealing into the village along a very difficult path.
15.40 Crossroads of Tapuach is open with 12 cars waiting.
Although this village unlike other villages in the area is not under curfew all the roads leading from it in the direction of Jamaiem are blocked by army vehicles.
15.55 Checkpoint of Huwwara.
One can see the nervousness and tension on all the faces. The lines of those coming from Nablus are stretched out and now and again one hears cries of anger and knocking on the turnstiles from those standing there, 100s who stand for 3-4 hours. The soldiers are tense. They ignore our presence almost completely. There is also a check of those entering which is unusual. Two soldiers checking the ids of anyone wishing to pass including women and children. Suddenly one of the checking areas stops working and only one is left in action. The anger of those waiting increases and now and again cries of "Allah is great" arise. After 20 minutes Daphne phones the centre to complain about the situation and asks for reinforcements from the DCO. There is one detainee who Racheli manages to speak to and he says he has been there about half an hour and he says that he was only speaking to a friend. He was freed at 16.45 after three captains from the DCO arrived.
16.10 Another detainee. Slightly older. Later it appears that he is the driver of a car which appears on the list of stolen cars and when he was told to wait for the police he tried to run away. When we left he was still there.
16.30 Because of the arrival of the captains of the DCO there were sufficient soldiers and immediately two soldiers got busy trying to bring order in the lines and to straighten them and this they continued doing during our entire shift. This with their rifles in their hands so that everything should look orderly. It rouses the anger to see elderly people being forced to carry out these orders which are only for "education". We are told the the entrance to Jamaiem and Haris have been opened.
17.00 Suddenly the police arrive. Rachelia and Tamar are at Beit Furik and we are told by the soldiers who up to now have ignored us that we have been summoned to go to the police vehicle. The policeman informs us that the soldiers summoned them because we have been interfering in their work. This is especially annoying as during the entire shift we had no contact with the soldiers and it was obvious that this was just to harass us. We explain this to the policeman who calls the commander who summoned him. He throws out all sorts of accusations such as "They bothered me the whole time, they crossed the white line" etc. but cannot bring up one specific incident and says he cannot remember faces. The policeman is not sympathetic to us and continues to scold but it is obvious that he also realizes that he was summoned for no reason.
17.15 On the way home we see that the entrance to Kifil Harat is blocked and there too is a bulldozer.
16.50 Beit Furik
(observiners: Racheli and Tamar). When we arrive the soldiers immediately call out that the checkpoint should be closed until we leave and they did so. Everything came to a stop. We were unable to get the centre to help us so left. The soldiers instigated the Palestinians to see us as responsible for this. We went back to Huwwara where we met two captains of the DCO, H. and R. They were angry that this had been done and asked us to go back with them which we did. When we got there the checkpoint was again closed. The captains ordered it to be opened immediately and reprimanded the commander. A long discussion ensues about where we can stand and we refused to take the area of the turnstiles saying that from there we cannot do our work. We said that we would stand opposite the post at the end of the cement fence. The captains of the DCO understood and said that they would handle the matter with the brigade. The important thing is that the captains said that it is forbidden to close the checkpoint no matter what. We have their number and they said that they would answer all our calls.