Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 5.11.07, Afternoon
Translation: Hanna K.
13:30 A shift consisting of four soldiers protects the hitch-hiking stop next to Ariel, being chummy with the settlers. They are still there at 17:00.
The entrance road is blocked. There is another road from Huwwara, but in order to reach it one has to pass the CP at the Za'tara Junction. "Do you have one of those in Tel Aviv too?" one of the men we met at the entrance to the village, laughingly asks us.
13:42 Za'tara (Tapuah)
We counted one vehicle at the east and about 15 vehicles at the south. The CP commander tells us that there are no passage restrictions. but there are alerts.
13:55 Burin (Yitzhar)
At the junction soldiers install armoured glass at the three posts.
14:10 Beit Furik
Most of the traffic at the CP - of pedestrians and of vehicles, moves in the direction of the exit from Nablus. The CP commander struts around with his gun on his one shoulder and held in his hand (not hanging limply on his shoulder) so that the barrel is directed at the passers-by. The people in the vehicles leaving Nablus have to leave the car, stand at the side and wait until the vehicle is being checked. The checking of the vehicles also includes the lifting of the engine cover.
The three checking posts are active. When we arrive the queue is not long, at 15:20 the shed has become full. The men take off their belts before they pass under the metal detectors, some take off their shoes.
At 15:20, when the queue becomes long, they begin performing on some a corporal check that includes the lifting up of the shirt and turning around on the spot. Bags are being checked, ID cards are handed for checking. A number of the men are sent with their bags to the x-ray screening vehicle. They are obliged to jump over the low fence and cross the road to reach the vehicle. The waiting period is about an hour, according to the passers-by. Elderly men and women pass at a separate queue, by way of a side small gate. Three women are taken to the checking cell for women. Macky saw that they don't undergo a corporal checking, but are interrogated. The side of the CP that is distant from Nablus, is completely empty. Men do not stop here anymore to arrange their bags after the checking, or to string the belt back onto the trousers. Women do not wait in the shed for their husbands. During the last weeks we were witness to a very harsh struggle of the soldiers against the Palestinians in this region of the CP and today we witness their success.
Vehicle movement - at the entrance to Nablus IDs and permits are checked. The queue usually moves quickly along, but even so traffic jams of 7-10 cars happen from time to time. A doctor, in a Red Crescent vehicle was detained for a few minutes. The DCO shouted at him very rudely and the doctor was obliged to make a u-turn. The entrance to Nablus was forbidden to him. An ambulance, on its way to Nablus, an emergency case with a siren, waited for 2 minutes until it was allowed to drive on.
At the exit from the town the queue is long. When the soldier signals with his hand, a small gesture signifying "come here", the driver approaches the CP, stops at a certain distance from it, the passengers alight and continue on foot. The driver alone approaches the CP, the vehicle is being checked, the passengers are sent with their bags to the x-ray screening vehicle, and after the passengers' IDs are checked, they are allowed to continue on their way. The duration of the check itself is about 3-4 minutes, not including the waiting time at the traffic jams until the checking posts are reached.
Men who went on the but at 14:45 told us that they had been waiting for it since 12:00.
An inhabitant of Ramallah was detained for an hour and a half because he drove on the apartheid road. How often shall we repeat this - the driver is not a local and there is no signposting forbidding the use of the road. Does he have to guess?
One of the taxi drivers told us about a disorder at Balata - the Palestinian police forces are now acting in the refugee camp.
16:45 Za'tara (Tapuah)
We counted 5 vehicles waiting in the south, 3 in the east.