Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 28.11.07, Morning
Translation: Hanna K.
Summary: An enormous traffic jam at Za'tara/Tapuach. A disgraceful sanitary condition at the parking lot at Huwara. There is a crew of soldiers composed of yeshiva students who are not prepared to talk to us but there is an efficient and good activity of the DCO representatives at the CP. There is a visit of the head of the civil administration and the commanders of the DCO. Stone blockades: Zeita (road no. 5), Jinsafut , Azzun (road no. 60)
07:10 Zeita -
The exit from the village in the direction of road no. 5 is blocked with concrete square blocks - nothing new.
We noticed a group of soldiers near jeeps. Later we understood who they were.
07:20 Za'tara/Tapuach CP -
From the west there are three vehicles only, but from the north (Nablus) there extends an endless traffic-jam in two lanes. To our surprise, moments after our arrival there was a movement and a quicker checking process. Near the CP a third lane was opened. Its opening created a security risk for the cars driving in the opposite track, but the intolerable waiting-time in the critical morning hours became shorter. We therefore did not call the Center and/or the DCO and continued on our way.
07:40 Burin/Yitzhar Junction - the CP is not manned
07:45 Huwwara CP
In the pedestrians' area few people pass, but two lanes are open (the eastern and the middle ones) as well as the humanitarian lane. The x-ray screening maching is in action.
In the vehicles lane there are almost no cars, even from the North. Excepting one car whose checking took a quarter of an hour, there were no real delays in both directions.
The soldiers work quietly and efficiently, but the morning crew refuses even to answer our greeting (yeshiva students). Luckily the two DCO representatives T. and S. are present - they act in all the parts of the CP and came to our rescue when we managed to summon them.
The parking lot, next to the CP, is shockingly filthy. The dirt flows over everywhere. On the other hand at the CP area there is a cleaning man, and the area is indeed clean. When we tried to clarify the matter with the DCO representatives it also transpired that the toilets are out of order. The parking lot is meant to serve hundreds and even thousands of people, men, women and children, every day. Some of them, like the drivers, have to remain there for many long hours. The sanitary condition is unbearable. We have commented on this already many times.
08:35 Beit Furik CP
There are no vehicles waiting at the parking lot near the CP and from Nablus too there is no traffic. The pedestrians' traffic to is sparse, but slowly the stream grows. We stood behind the CP (as we were forbidden to approach the checking posts). Today there is a pleasant crew, especially the commander who came down to us to say hello. The CP was opened this morning at 05:00.
09:10 Back at Huwwara
There is still no pressure, even not at the vehicle lanes.
09:20 A car from Ramallah is ordered to return. The papers which the driver holds have expired two months ago. The two DCO representatives explain to him what he has to do and also to shorten the process by a coordination by phone between Ramallah and Huwwara.
An elderly sick women leaning on a walking stick and supported with difficulty by a young woman arrives from the south to the vehicle lane. We ask the soldiers to enable here to pass the sterile area by a car that has just now arrived. The soldiers refuse ("she can walk"), and turn their back on us. We couldn't refrain from remarking: "Both you and this woman were created in His image". Fortunately, the DCO representative arrived again and they arranged the transportation. Although this is what is expected from them - we thanked them.
09:25 An entourage of officers arrives at the CP. It turns out that this is a visit of the head of the civil administration, accompanied by Ra'ad, the commander of the DCO and other officers, including a photographer in civilian clothes. One of the people takes notes. They tour the CP and in the end alight next to us. We are happy to reply to the that it will be alright after the occupation, but under the present circumstances one has to be concerned with many things such as not to detain people beyond the most necessary minimum, but also with the following:
A. reasonable and humane humanitarian condition, such as - a clean parking and transportation area, toilets and drinking fountains in working order, a shed where one can hide from the sun and the rain. We suggested they should glance at the garbage dump,
B. One has to sharpen the soldiers instructions to pay good attention to humanitarian situations such as the case of the old woman of this morning. A local sweeping decision not to talk to us and not to listen to what we say (not meaning idle chatter, nor teasing, insulting or disturbing them in their work) does not prevent mistakes nor add to the honor of the Israeli Defence Forces.
09:40 A Palestinian who has been in prison and has been released turns to us. The papers he has are meant to allow him passage, but each time he gets to the CP - he is detained. We again called T. from the DCO and he suggested he should go to the DCO and ask for a certificate of acquittal which will take him off all the lists.
It was decided that if he shouldn't get this certificate he would come back to the CP and ask for DCO representatives. He has no phone. We took his details and left our telephone number with him.
10:00 we left the CP via road no. 60 to check the blockades.
The exit from the villages Jinsafut and Azzun to the road is blocked by square blockades.
At Funduq where yesterday afternoon there was a lively army movement and a road block, it is now quiet and open.