Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 5.11.07, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
There is no roadblock at the entrance to Marda; there are concrete blocks at the entrance to Zeita.
7:10 a.m. There are roadblocks around Za'atra/Tapuach
There is a roadblock from the direction of Tulkarm to Jerusalem/Ramallah.
There are 9 cars, the crossing is swift, a young man who was detained and whose taxi did not wait for him is released some ten minutes later, and is forced to go and search for another taxi.
There is a roadblock in the direction of Nablus.
There is no separation.
There are 27 vehicles; the inspection and the crossing are speedy.
A bus was sent to the car park; all its passengers are taken off and sent back on again, they waited about ten minutes for their documents to be inspected.
There is no roadblock at Yitzhar Junction or at the top of the road; there are no military vehicles at the entrance to Beita.
There are about 30 vehicles waiting in the queue to enter Nablus and they descend the slope of the taxi car park one after the other to the area of the roadblock. Drivers claim that they have been waiting since 6:15 a.m.
Many people arrive all the time at the pedestrian roadblock and they cross very quickly.
A detainee is put in the lock-up. The army claimed that he was caught when he tried to take the by pass via Salem to Nablus. They said they would hold him for three hours but shortly after 10:00 a.m. he was released.
The roadblock commander explained that his people are new; therefore, vehicles cross very slowly as they are teaching them how to make inspections.
He agreed to our request to open two lanes for a while (one for those entering, the other for those leaving) and also to permit, when no cars are leaving Nablus, the second lane to be used for cars entering as well. In this way, and after the soldier being trained began to work a bit faster, the lengthening queue was considerably shorter within 20 minutes. A car inspection, which had previously taken up to 4 - 5 minutes, was reduced later to about 2 minutes.
A queue of 10 cars waits to enter Nablus and one of almost 30 to leave.
Aimen from the DCO arrived; he spoke to the soldiers about opening an additional lane (i.e.: one in each direction) and also said that he would arrange to get reinforcements so that the crossing would be considerably quicker.
There is almost no queue of cars in either direction. People leaving Nablus by taxi with cases carry them to the x-ray machine. The dog handler with her muzzled dog was also there. The dog was not used while we were there.
There are no detainees.
There are more than 30 pedestrians in the queue and the humanitarian queue was very slow. The DCO representative, Tarek, explained that there are new people at this roadblock too and that is why the inspection is slow. He acceded to our request and went to help the soldier in this queue and immediately the queue began to move and the whole queue moved more swiftly.
The car park is very full and crowded.
It was a hot day and in neither place did we see any water for the use of the Palestinians.
At both roadblocks, Beit Furiq and Huwwara - they were strict with us about the white line - the imaginary and the actual one.
There 8 cars, the crossing is quick, there are no buses.
We went to see if there was a roadblock at Kariah banei Hassan - there wasn't one. (Mickey was informed in the morning by one of the drivers that there was a roadblock there in the early hours.)