Huwwara, Thu 4.10.07, Afternoon

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Debra L., Hagar L.
Translation: Ruth F.


16:10- Yitzhar Junction- the checkpoint wasn't manned.

16:12- Huwwara Checkpoint- About 30 pedestrians were waiting in line for the inspections. Three inspections posts were open and so was the humanitarian line for women and the elders. The average time it took to pass was 5 minutes.

There was an x-ray machine. Drivers and their passengers were sent with their packages and luggage to the machine. The soldier at the watch tower kept yelling at the soldier who were inspecting the cars that one of the drivers that was in line tried passing through the checkpoint earlier with a package but was refused passage and was now trying to pass in a cab. We couldn’t see what he was carrying with him (we had seen in the past that soldiers wouldn't allow them to pass with motor parts),  but we did see him returning to Nablus.  


16:12-16:20-Four vehicles were standing the line heading to Nablus. It took 8 minutes till the last car past.

16:17- Two young men were detained for ID inspections and were released after several minutes. One of them was escorted by the checkpoint commander to the cell. The commander talked to him and checked his cellular phone, but he let him go after a couple of minutes. I asked the young man whether he had any idea why he was detained, he said "I am a Bingo", for four months now they have be detaining him each time he pass there.

The DCO representative was holding a knife in his hand and explained to the solider standing next to him why it was dangerous. Apparently this was the knife found in among the other object that belonged to the man in the cell. He would have to wait until his ID was inspected at the "highest authorities". We were told he had been sitting there for 10 minutes.

 16:30- A military police woman was giving out orders to a minibus driver: "Open the door!", later, however, I heard her greeting a different passenger, "Marh'aba", "Mazal Tov". I observed her behavior and learned that she was just a loud type, a manner of behavior that her friends might like. But in the checkpoint this is an offensive behavior. 

16:35- Six vehicles were at the entrance to Nablus. We couldn't see the line exiting Nablus. A young pedestrian was hopping to make more use of his time and decided to put his bag in the x-ray machine before he enters the pedestrian line, he was reproached and sent to the line. A porter spread all his luggage on the dusty road.

A privet car came from Nablus, the passengers weren't familiar with the new regulation, according to which the passenger are taken out of the car about 20-30 meters before the place where the car is inspected. The police woman explained the regulation to the driver while yelling. The family seemed embarrassed from the tone of her voice.   

16:49- A jeep arrived, a commander and the checkpoint commander went to the cell. I was observing the pedestrians line that was entering Nablus. They asked me to leave (even though many Palestinians were passing through there). I said that I wasn't standing in their way and that I had a right to be there. He took his cellular phone out and called the police. The commander talked to the detainee for a couple of minutes and headed off. The checkpoint commander told Debra that the soldier had found three knives, each one the size of 6 fingers in the detaineesinfo-icon luggage.

I went to the detainee to ask for information. He was a sixteen year old from the village Aqraba. The teenager explained to me, with his poor Hebrew and hand gestures, that the knives were sharp. I tried helping and offered to call his relatives and tell them he was arrested. He said he couldn't remember their numbers. I tried getting his ID number from the Humanitarian Center, so I could inform the Red Cross, but they couldn't find it.

16:59-The teenager was taken for a physical inspection and was released.

17:00- The police woman and soldier stood on the road leading into Nablus and inspected those entering. They checked only their bags but not the IDs (Where they using the "someone gave me something to pass on" trick?). People had to pour out their bags on the dusty and dirty road.


17:02-The checkpoint commander noticed that in the filed behind the checkpoint was a truck heading to Awarta. He sent a jeep with some soldiers quickly to stop the truck. We could now see the truck driving slowly in the field, it was escorted by the jeep (on the road). They led the truck to the checkpoint and the commander talked to the driver. The plat number of the truck was: 460091, it was a Volvo. The phone number on the truck was: 052-2813712.
The detainee was still in the cell when we left (on our way we tried getting his ID number for the last time through Humanitarian Center- but it was no use). I called the Red Cross after a couple of days and asked that they find out whether he was arrested or released on that came day. I still didn't get an answer (the teenager seemed embarrassed when I said I wanted to help him. I really hope he was released. In retrospective it seems like one of those "someone asked me to pass this package" incidents).

 {What bothered me for a couple of days after the shift, was that on Thursday two events occurred in the checkpoints we visited or were near them: After we left: at Huwwara checkpoint a cab driving a man with kidney failure was denied passage even though they had all the permits needed (see Naomi L's 'report). And on that day that had probably closed the road leading to the Palestinian villages in Alfai Menashee. Two difficult events that stress out the occupation and which demanded from our volunteers to work hard for the last couple of days and take care of them. Our observations are merely incidental and we manage to collect very few information during our shits. }