Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 4.11.07, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
There are four cars in the queue from the west.
There are no cars waiting from the direction of Nablus.
Beit Furiq roadblock
There are four cars in the queue.
Very few people cross.
There are some 50 - 60 people in the shed.
There are three checkpoints and three queues. One of those crossing complained that the middle position did not function for about half an hour and the whole middle queue was forced to wait until it was re-staffed (this situation will be repeated later on).
A Palestinian asked for our help: his friend, whose documents were taken away from him on 28 October at the Tulkarm roadblock, has been given an appointment at Huwwara DCO in respect of the matter. However, because he has no documents he is not allowed to cross. We approached T., the DCO representative and, with his aid, the matter was resolved and the man was permitted to cross.
The Military Policewoman at the centre position left again and, as already noted, the middle queue was brought to a standstill. Edna approached the roadblock commander (with whom until now, in spite of the fact that we had gone over to him, we were unable to communicate) and he stated that the policewoman had gone to check something regarding a Palestinian who was crossing, and that we are just interrupting their work and so on and so on. He sent us to stand behind the distant white line. We refused. A short time later he appeared in the company of the Military Policewoman and claimed that this is the third time he had demanded that we withdraw to the distant line, and if we do not the policewoman with him will drag us by force because he "does not touch women", and of course while the policewoman is busy with us she cannot move the queue and so, again, the Palestinians are the hostages in the argument with us and because of that - we give in.
A man who crossed after a long wait in the queue complained to us: he had surgery a month and a half ago and he has a hospital appointment in Ramallah at 10:30 a.m. He tried to explain this to the soldier but he sent him away and did not even permit him to speak to the roadblock commander, therefore he is late and may miss his appointment. The man is resentful (and rightly so) and wonders whom he can approach, whom he can lay a claim against (ha, ha) and why is it we can't help (and we aren't able even to begin to help, since he is at the end of the queue at the other side of the roadblock and we are unable to move).
A loud argument with a lot of shouting goes on between the Military Policewoman and another soldier. I heard the same policewoman previously ordering a Palestinian to "shut up!".
Our visit to the roadblock is never a picnic but today it was particularly infuriating and annoying. Once again we realise that the roadblock commander is key to the atmosphere and running of the roadblock.