Atara, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sat 17.11.07, Morning
Translation: Hanna K.
We arrived at 06:45, the hour people go out to work. There is a long queue of cars, but the checking is done by sampling. The drivers who tried to bypass the queue which progresses quickly, are the main reason for the delays. And like every week we wonder again - why this CP, one of many hundreds, is put up precisely at the entrance to the Bir Zeit university and to Ramallah.
5 cars in the direction west-east and 11 in the direction north-south.
There are three lanes active and there is no delay at passing - and again - why does one have to take people off the busses after they have been checked only a few kilometers before at Huwwara - the Occupation surely has the answers!
"water-sprinkler turn around..." From the parking lot one can already see the very long queue at the entrance to Nablus. Hundreds of people crowd together and the turnstile turns very slowly, one by one. Women with babies on their arms, old people with their canes, sick people on their crutches, people hurrying to their jobs or studies - an entire world! All pass one by one, and the anger mounds from moment to moment. The young people, and those who know Hebrew try to persuade an especially nervous sergeant to let them pass by way of the road - but he refused to "take any risk". "If we let them pass by way of the road an ambulance my come and run them over" - even veterans like us have not yet heard such an original excuse! The attempts to persuade the sergeant to let the people pass by way of the road and thus alleviate the pressure were to no avail. Phone calls to the brigade headquarters brought two officers and a DCO officer to the spot - the road was opened, and hundreds of people passed on their way to Nablus. This "success" of ours irritated the soldiers very much and the bad attitude they displayed towards us only became worse. We became nothing but air - but we accepted this willingly!
People coming from Nablus have to wait about two hours to pass - although all the posts are open. We tried to talk to the responsible officer - we didn't get the impression that this causes him undue worry. "I will not agree that the checking won't be done thoroughly - they brought this upon themselves". Many left cursing - each days we create thus more and more people filled with hate who won't forgive this for many generations to come! During the 4 hours in which we stayed there the queue didn't become shorter, and the atmosphere was very tense. The General Security Services men sat in a car behind the "Humanitarian Spot" and waited for their prey! From the town Nablus too many Israeli cars with the bald types with the Rambo sunglasses "our cute Sabras". The soldiers' behavior doesn't improve from week to week. The screaming from one post to the next, the screaming at the Palestinians, the singing and joke telling (after all "they" don't understand Hebrew!) leave us speechless - and these soldiers will tomoroow be civilians and we behave just as we see them behaving on the street, in the shop, on the roads - everywhere.
The girl apprentice dog trainer saw to it that the passage of cars from Nablus took half an hour per car. After about ten cars the pace increased a little. The main thing is that people should move away as much as possible from the car - because the secret "reason" which is clear to everybody won't "be understood" by those "morons who pass here".
At the entrance to Nablus there is no delay. Many ambulances, more than usual, passed quickly.
A military policewoman who began her shift came to us and "complained" that the site is not up to date - we explained to her that we lanced a new site, and how to find old material, and it seemed that we solved for her a mystery which occupied her mind.
We stood on both sides of the white line (which is now brown) and talked idly. Suddenly a soldier appeared and with an unbelievable rudeness demanded that we stand to one side of the line only. As the distance between the two of us was not more than 5 cms, and as his demand was very coarse, we insisted not to move. The soldier who had approached as in connection with the site approached us and tried to intervene, but we insisted. The soldier's impertinence had this result - perhaps otherwise we would not have discussed a matter of 5 cms.
There is no doubt that the preparation that the soldiers get for their service at the checkpoint includes a comprehensive seminary regarding the "damage and disturbance" of Machsom Watch to the activity at the CP, because from one generation of soldiers to the other we hear the same words. The remarks repeat themselves at all the CPs. Now when the officer corps will be composed many of kippa wearers and the spirit will be of "Eretz Israel is ours and ours only" - the brainwashing will deepen more and more.
The new white line could have been in Tel aviv - there is no way to see or hear anything from there. We didn't give it any attention and crossed the road and stood where we always stand - opposite the CP from where one can see and hear. Nobody turned to us and we didn't talk to anybody. There are few people at the CP and they all pass quickly. There is nothing to photograph - because the main part of the occupation one cannot photograph - is occurs somewhere else, and the fact that the villages all around are completely blocked - is not known or seen and the Israelis are not really interested in the 60.ooo Palestinians.
We returned to Huwara - nothing has changed and nothing will probably change.
We left at 12:45.