Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 21.10.07, Morning

Observers: 
Edna L., and Yael B. (reporting)
Oct-21-2007
|
Morning

 Translation:  Suzanne O.

Za'atra roadblock
7:40 a.m. 

There are four cars at the entrance.

We counted 85 in the queue to exit!!

We went back to the checkpoint.  When we asked, a taxi driver at the beginning of the queue told us he had been waiting for one hour and twenty minutes.  Drivers sound their horns in protest.  Two checkpoints function without delays.  We approached the roadblock commander to ask why there are no reinforcements and he answered that he had called for some.  And, indeed, within minutes another team arrived and they opened a third lane.

A taxi with eight passengers that was detained (for a reason unknown to us - apparently the usual one: "a warning") is sent to the car park, there the passengers are taken out and the taxi is inspected minutely for 20 minutes with the help of the dog.  At the end of all the sniffing the dog leaves its saliva on the taxi's seats.

One of the passengers - labourers on their way to work in Ramallah - told me that he understands the reason for the search but, according to their religion, the dog's contact is an insult.

Edna went over to the dog-handler with a question/grouse: why does she not wipe the dog's saliva off the car seats?  She responded that she usually has a cloth and does clean up, but today she was under pressure...

Beit Furiq roadblock

8:25 

There are eight cars in the queue at the entrance.

There are few pedestrians crossing.

Huwwara

8:40 a.m. 

At this point in time there are about 10 people in the shed for those crossing.

A detainee is in the cell.  We were told that he is a Shabak detainee (‘bingo') and they are waiting for Shabak agents to arrive.  (Before we left a car with Shabak agents arrived but by the time we left they had still not approached the detainee.)

The roadblock commander, N., functions humanely and considerately, this dictates the humane and totally non-aggressive conduct of the soldiers (this might sound like an oxymoron in reference to the existence of the roadblock but that's the way things are).  N.'s humane approach was expressed in a lengthy conversation we had with him, and which we also heard in the estimation of several Palestinian ‘denizens' of the roadblock.


Za'atra Junction

10:30 a.m. 

Traffic is light and there are no queues.