Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 7.11.07, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
At the entrance to Zeita there is a barrier and a Hammer jeep with soldiers at the side of the road.
Za'atra Junction - Tapuach
There are never ending queues from the direction of Huwwara, in the region of 50 cars. The inspection of each car takes 3 - 4 minutes, but from the moment a car arrives at the roadblock until it leaves it takes about 30 - 40 minutes.
The three turnstiles are working. The traffic flows.
The traffic of pedestrians and cars is light. There is a new commander from the Givati Brigade, he came to the roadblock yesterday. He reported that he has been at the roadblock for 16 hours straight. A detainee who was caught along the fence was brought in by the patrol 20 minutes before we arrived, "apparently he went to pick olives where he shouldn't". The man looks to be in his 50's or 60's. We understood from the commander that he would be punished for six hours, when we asked whether it is permitted to hold someone for more than three hours; the roadblock commander informed us that with a special permit they can hold someone for six hours.
Back to Huwwara, no change.
Three occupation stories:
A young man, very thin and pale, from one of the buses which was stopped at Za'atra, came over to us. He showed us an appointment for Ichilov Hospital at 11:00 a.m. The time was 8:00 a.m., he had already been through two roadblocks, and he is not sure how many more there are on the way. He has to get to Ramallah to get a permit from the Authority for his hospital appointment and to get to Ichilov by 11:00 a.m. It was simple to work out that he is not going to get to Ichilov today.
At Za'atra Junction again, the queue of cars was unbearable, a minibus driver taking teachers from Nablus to Ramallah was in a hurry to get the teachers to their destination and they were already late because of the roadblocks. He drove along the Jewish road and approached the soldiers. Behind him on the road was a Hammer jeep containing an NCO - a regular soldier. The soldier alighted from the jeep, ran, with his weapon at the ready, right up to the driver's seat, opened the driver's door, and pointed it at him while screaming salacious curses. He took away the driver's I.D. card and sent him to the end of the queue.
Huwwara - a man of about 50 approached us asking for help. He is from Jenin. About 20 years ago he married an Israeli woman who lives in Tiberias with their two children . She is a nurse in Poria hospital. The father is not permitted to enter Israel and for many years has not visited his children at their home. He approached a lawyer for help who managed to get him a one-off permit to visit Israel, since then a number of years have passed and none of his attempts to get a permit have succeeded.
Huwwara - A driver comes over to us holding a piece of unofficial paper with Arabic handwriting on it. He reads what is written to us: that due to the need to enlarge the roadblock "private land belonging to residents near the roadblock will be appropriated".
Of course, we tried to help in the three cases and to do whatever we were able.