Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 1.10.07, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
A bus from the west is being checked, behind it there are 12 vehicles waiting in the queue.
To the south: two taxis are detained. According to the passengers: one since 5:00 a.m., and the second one for about the last 20 minutes.
We went up to a soldier whom we mistakenly thought was the roadblock commander; he claimed that he could not talk to us. The commander, Y., explains that the taxis did not wait their turn. When we ask if they are being punished - he denies it.
The driver of one of the taxis is carrying four teachers. He comes over to us: he wants to take the teachers to school and is prepared to return to the roadblock and stay there for as long as necessary. After a few minutes the driver and the passengers have their documents returned and they go on their way to school.
There are about 20 vehicles in the queue south.
The roadblock is empty. Later in the shift a few people arrive now and then. The humanitarian lane is open.
A Palestinian explains to us that the low number of those crossing is due to the closure.
There are two women with a baby in a buggy accompanied by an elderly woman who stumbles along. They are on their way to Nablus. They ask if they can cross to the left of the roadblock. The soldier agrees to their request after they plead and try to explain the reason they want to cross here. However, before he lets them cross he checks their baggage. So that they do not enjoy the treat he gives them by letting them cross here? Or, maybe, the fact that they want to cross this way, rather than through the turnstile, makes them suspect?
A Palestinian who needs to renew his vehicle licence wants to go into Nablus, but he is not permitted to do so because his licence is out of date. We approach the roadblock commander, Y., who agrees to our request that he talk to the driver, and allows him through.
From time to time just a few people cross the roadblock. A larger number of pedestrians cross into Nablus. The turnstile holds up those leaving Nablus to an extent, and again we ask: if the army is sure that there is some need for inspection and the turnstiles are necessary - why did they only put in one turnstile?
We left the roadblock for Beit Furik. It is quiet there, very few people at the roadblock, no movement of vehicles.
We left the roadblock.