Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 15.10.07, Afternoon
Za'tara, Burin Junc., Awarta Junc., Huwwara, Beit Furik,
Hanna k. Translation
One day after Id El Fitr. The traffic is relatively sparse, but one still sees families festively attired on their way to visit family relatives which they didn't have a chance to visit during the holidays.
13:35 Za'tara -
the CP is almost empty in both directions. At the CP in the West there is one detained person. There is no photograph in his ID and he doesn't remember details such as date of birth. The soldiers called the DCO officer to interview him.
13:47 Burin Junction -
the CP is active in the South.There are 8 cars waiting. From the Center they say that the CP will continue to be active till the end of Id El Fitr. The concessions which were in force for the holidays are not valid any more, but the intensifications of the regulations which came with the holidays are still valid.
13:55- A Hamer stand at the Awarta Junction and watches over the Apartheid road.
14:00 Beit Furik CP -
it is almost empty. From time to time a short queue is formed. The checking is done rapidly. The alleviating regulations that were in force during the holidays have been cancelled.
In the detainees shed there are two young men whose eyes have been covered with a piece of flannel. They are not handcuffed, but have been in the shed for a long time. At the center they tell us that these are not detainees, but prisoners, and that they cannot intervene.
In view of the evasive answer of the humanitarian center, and as the soldiers refused to talk to us, we called the DCO commander and he promised to look into the matter.
The moment we arrive at the CP the soldiers welcome us with shouts: "get out of the CP", "you are not allowed to be here, you are not allowed to talk to us" they say even before we manage to open our mouth. "You obstruct a civil servant to perform his duty", "this is a private area that belongs to the army", "we are calling the police for you". We insist and a few moments later they calm down and leave us along.
"How much do you earn for all this?" one of the soldiers asks,
"a lot of heartache more than anything else" I answer him.
At the side there is a detained taxi, next to which stand one man, two women and six children. The taxi was detained at the entrance to Nablus. The soldiers claim that the taxi's number plate looks forged to them, that this is a sticker and not a real plate, they have talked to the brigade and are waiting for an answer. The taxi has been detained for over an hour and a half. A few minutes later another taxi is detained, this time at the exit from Nablus, on the pretext that the front and hind number plates do not match. A hammer with the soldiers' commander arrives and he takes care of the two cases.
14:45 Huwwara CP -
a sparse traffic of pedestrians at the CP. There is one detained woman who is locked in the women's checking booth. The soldiers tell us that she arrived at the CP without papers and said that she wanted to commit suicide. She didn't carry any weapon or explosive matter on her body. All this had happened about half an hour before our arrival. The CP commander still takes care of the "event". The whole story is not clear.
The checking is performed quietly and efficiently. "The soldiers today are honey" a young man who passes at the CP tell us.
We had a long conversation with a young woman who was waiting for her husband who was still in the queue. Although the traffic is relatively sparse it took him almost an hour to pass the CP. She told us that they were on their way to Ramallah, to a restaurant, just because they felt like going out and spending a nice evening.
16:00 Burin CP -
the CP is still active, there is an enormous queue, over fifty cars. The drivers report that they have been standing there for about two hours. We stop very much to the chagrin of the soldiers. They don't bother about the length of the car-queue which the CP creates. "There are alerts" they say, and try to send us away. It does not seem strange to them that there is an alert only at their CP, and none at the other CPs.
We reported to the "humanitarian" center and asked that a DCO representative be sent here.
There are two cars detained on the side. The soldiers say that a dispute had begun between the drivers and they had begun to quarrel. The soldiers had separated between them and had detained both of them. They drivers ask us not to interfere.
We thought about the young couple we had seen at Huwwara, who had been on their way to have a good time in Ramallah, and how they are still stuck three kilometers from hoem for three hours after they set out on their way. Indeed a nice time...
16:15 The Za'tara Junction CP -
15 cars are waiting in the North, 21 in the West.
At the parking lot there is a bus with Palestinian number plates, all the passengers stand outside with their belonging, and two soldiers perform a roll-call for them.