Huwwara, Thu 1.11.07, Morning
Translation: Ruth F.
We arrived at the checkpoint at 8:45. Only a few people were passing but the average time it took was of about 45 minutes. There were a large number of soldiers and officers probably because of the expected visit of some of the Judea and Samaria subcommittee members which is part of the security and foreign committeein the Knesset (The Israeli parliament) Two people who were refused passage by the GSS asked for our help. One of them had been in prison during his adolescence after having thrown stones and now was married and a father to two children. The other one was married but had no children and couldn't understand why he was refused passage by the GSS.
At about 11:00 two women from the "Women in Blue" movement arrived with cakes, raspberry juice and an extremely filthy mouth. They wondered about the checkpoint freely- as though they were the owners, they handed out green flags to the soldiers on which "Congratulations of the IDF" was written. We of course were "greeted" with the same juicy curse words that follow us where ever we go.
At 11:15 a young man was taken to the cell and told to get undressed. Since they immediately allowed him to get dressed again and he was sent back on his way, we didn't pay this event much notice. It was only after the "successful catch" that we understood that they were waiting for someone- and that this young man was "a disappointment" as he wasn't the right "terrorist"!!!
At 11:30 appeared the members of the subcommittee on the top of the hill that leads to the settlement Har Bracha'a, they were of course escorted by guards (the explanation was that the checkpoint was much to "dangerous" and that's why they were observing it from the top of the hill). Then suddenly, right next to us, about five to six steps away from where we were –
All the officers that were already standing in position to catch him pushed him on the ground and immediately declared "an Interruption of life".
We didn't see an explosive belt on his bare stomach and he didn't have a bag.
He passed through the humanitarian lane (a young man in the humanitarian lane?!). And the "catching" was right next to us by the passage leading to the pen in which the soldiers that perform the inspection stand. And now for some action- everyone was running around driving everyone in the checkpoint away towards the squarer, and the soldiers were gloating from joy. Now they had proven to us and to the MPs just how much the checkpoint is efficient and necessary. We got up the hill and standing with some distance from the MPs we watch the whole show.
They made an exception and lead the "terrorist" gently to a bare place, a place which was visible to the photographers that were there. They gave him some cool water and did not hit him, everything worked ideally! The MPs left for lunch at the brigade and we staid to see how this all would end. Everything was perfect- but we had the feeling that even some of the MPs were not sure whether this really happened. The robot arrived there in no time –but dear me- even though there were 6 shoots, nothing exploded. It was only after an hour that we finally managed to hear a faint explosion- Where were all the explosives we had heard of on the radio- so many explosives and such a small explosion? Hundreds of people were standing on both sides of the checkpoint, already used to such events, they weren’t extremely impressed with the event, but the two hour delay under the sun in the middle of the day, when they were making their way from studying or work, was probably another potential nuisance for the millions that suffer from the denial of their freedom of movement! We tried getting the media interested with what we saw, but obviously they believed the army- who are we to doubt the truth of “such a successful operation”. The white and blue women were very pleased. They cursed us from the other side of the square – Well, well, it was us who had brought this almost disaster on the soldiers.
At 13:15 we left for Za’tara. After refusing to meet with subcommittee at the Samaria council together with the white and blue women, we were asked to hold the meeting at Za’tara checkpoint and we agreed. The blue and white women were already at Za’tara, they took advantage of the fact that the MPs weren’t there yet, to “explain” to the press that was there, that we are a menace and that it’s very important to get rid of us. When the MPs arrived, the blue and whites finally received the liberty of speech, everything was preformed vigorously and loudly.
We, on the other hand, stood from a distance waiting patiently for the MPs' to finds the time to talk to us. Some of the reporters “discovered” us and came to interview us. Sara began by explaining our point of view, Neomi and I each time added more light on other aspects of our activity.
Let’s hope that some of this will be shown on TV. Eventually the MPs apologized and approached us asking to hear what we thought.
We pointed out that we have been present at the checkpoint for 7 years and that there are hundreds of reports in our site, and that we had already sent them our publications. We briefly explained the extent of our activity and our point of view. Finally we were asked to send a written document to the committee, after which we would be invited to a meeting at the Knesset which where a more serious discussion would be held. This was the realization of our goal.