Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 21.11.07, Afternoon
Translation: Ruth F.
The village was closed. A curfew. The village gate was closed and three soldiers, that refused to speak to us, were guarding it. According to the Humanitarian Center some kids threw stones and that way the army put the village under a curfew from 12:30 to 15:30.
"They should educate their children better" said the soldiers to the Palestinians that were waiting behind the locked gate in the cold, wanting to get home.
Zaita- The villag is permanently blocked by cement bricks.
There were cabs on both sides of the checkpoint.
14:45- Za'tara Junction-
65 vehicles were waiting for their turn to pass from the northern side to the south.
15:15- Beit Furik-
A new white line (about three weeks old) stood in our way of coming close and fulfilling our duty. When we approached the soldiers swarmed at us, they were angry that were came. Even though we stood from a distance they still said we were bothering them and told us to stop taking photos.
We kept taking photos. On this point it's clear what is allowed and what is not: it's allowed.
There weren't many pedestrians or vehicles waiting to pass.
For the first time in Beit Furik we saw a sniffing dog with his trainer. The explanation of the checkpoint commander H, was: "to do something that wasn't routine"
The soldiers explained to us that checkpoints were necessary to protect Itamar.
Some questions were brought up: 1. We don't know who came up with the white line idea and who decided that we had to obey it?
2. The white line causes us to stand from a distance- it's only valid on women from humanitarian organizations- only on them(!)- is it legal?
3. What are the lawyers' positions on this subject?
4. What is Machsom Watch's position on the idea that one must obey he line and what kind of a backup is given to us?
5. What have we done to try and eliminate this disturbance?
We would be happy if someone could refresh our memory.
At the exit from Nablus there were 8 empty trucks waiting. At the entrance to the checkpoint 9 trucks were waiting, they were full of merchandise.
It was very cold. Wet. The checkpoint was extremely crowded. The average waiting time was of about two and a half hours. There was a DCL representative that after we spoke to him, tried making the inspections go faster.
There were two detainees in the cell. One of them had been there since 11:00 (he was released at 16:15)- he was detained after tried to avoid going through the inspection, to of course, even through the regulations say otherwise, he was punished.
There was much tension in the checkpoint and it was very crowded. Nothing had changed when we left at 17:30.