Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 19.11.07, Afternoon

Macky S. Noa P. (reporting)

Natanya translating.

13.30     4 soldiers guard the hitching post next to Arieal and they are still there at 17.00 when we return.

13.40 The road to Marda is open.
          The road to Zeita is still closed with cement blocks and 4 cars
          wait on either side.

13.50 The crossroads of Za'tara (Tapuach). 
7 cars in either direction.  A bus with 20 people wait to be checked. People wait on the road and have been there for 5 minutes but at Huwwara they had been detained for 45 minutes.  
The soldier checks efficiently and frees them. We spoke to the commander who says that there is an alert concerning a terrorist attack on military positions.

14.05  At the village of Huwwara stand a police jeep opposite the mosque but we did not see who was sitting inside.

14.10 Beit Furik.  We go to the turnstiles and are chased away by the commander. Only beyond the white line. This is done he says to prevent a terrorist attack and we go to the other side of the white line. The checkpoint is decorated by the flags of the blue and white women. We asked the commander how it happened that we were not allowed into the same areas and he says that this had not taken place during his shift and he knows nothing about it.

3 soldiers sit in the enclosure and eat their lunch.

Hardly any pedestrians and whoever does arrive goes through without delay. We could not see what was happening.

Cars arriving from Nablus are checked and trucks even have their wheels checked.
From the direction of Beit Furik as truck waits 25 minutes while 4 cars come up behind it.  One of the drivers ask if we cannot help because he has been there 30 minutes and says the soldiers have no heart.

14.45 Huwwara.
We find a television crew there.

3 women with a newborn babyinfo-icon, two older women and one very young girl whom we can see is not well. Her face is yellow and she can hardly walk. The soldiers allow them to go through without even going through the humanitarian line and they get into a taxi.

One detainee who tried to slip through and who is freed 15 minutes later.

The line progresses with no special occurrences. Sometimes the men have to lift or take off an article of clothing.

An elderly man turns to us and asks why there had been no Machsomwatch shift the previous day. He had been detained for three hours in the usual line and 45 minutes in the humanitarian line. We asked how long it had taken today and the answer is from 30 minutes to one hour and 30 minutes.

15.20 An elderly couple arrive at the checkpoint and go into the humanitarian line. They are religious.  The commander says that they are the parents of a soldier who is serving at the checkpoint.

15.30 A TV  crew of 6-7 people with cameras and television. They say that they are from Al J'azira International, CNN and EPA.

Why today?  Because there is a demonstration which is due to arrive from Nablus and they say also from the Israeli side. The soldiers allow them to photograph  the humanitarian line  and truly the demonstration arrives. 3 Palestinian flags and about 25-30 people singing and shouting slogans . The soldiers close the car lane  and put a Hummer there to stop the progress of the people. They call for reinforcements  and within minutes 5 jeeps arrive, another Hummer and a police jeep. The TV group is laughing ...there are many more soldiers armed to the teeth than demonstrators who are armed with flags.

15.45 An ambulance with sirens blaring arrives. The entrance to Nablus is blocked by the demonstration and it will have to go a different way.

15.50 Next to the humanitarian line sits a handicapped man with his crutches at his side. He is waiting for his taxi to get permission to go through. 20 other cars arrive. While all this is going on people keep passing steadily. In the usual line a military policewoman has started to educate people as to how to stand.

16.00 The demonstration is ended and the soldiers leave. The car lane once more starts to move.
At 16.15 the line emptied.

16.40 Za'tara (Tapuach)  16 cars in either direction.