Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 6.12.07, Afternoon

Observers: 
Dorit H. and Dafna B. (reporting)
Dec-6-2007
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Afternoon

Translation: Hanna K.

16:00 Awarta -
 3 cars are waiting to leave Nablus and 2 to enter it. The passage is quick without delays.

16:10 - Beit Furik -
The taxi drivers at the exit from Beit Furik tell us that the cars are waiting a long time to enter Nablus.
From the conversation with the drivers of the 5 waiting cars it turns out that they have been waiting for over an hour. When we arrive at the CP, immediately when we crossed the white line, 3 soldiers came running, and their colleagues joined them so that all the 6 soldiers of the shift stood around us (perhaps one was left at the booth, but none was left to let pass the many Palestinians who crowded behind the turnstiles or the long row of cars coming from Nablus, whose end we couldn't see).
The usual argument that we disturb them in their work, that we should remove ourselves to the other side of the white line, otherwise they won't let the Palestinians pass. The commander is very hostile.
There is no point in arguing, it is cold, the wind blows dust into our eyes and our heart aches for all these people, babies, sick people, so we retreat to behind the white line.
The commander couldn't care less about the instructions of the  legal adviser for the occupied territories - he just won't let anybody pass the white line and that's it.
The first car that passes stops next to us. Two distinguished gentlemen sit in it and one of them addresses us in an angry voice: "the soldier told us that if you are here, he doesn't let us pass!"
We begin explaining and he stops us and says: "continue coming, don't give up. The soldiers don't want you here, but well done to you that you come" and when the car goes on driving he repeats: "well done!" 
The CP commander comes running and scolds us for stopping cars at the CP.
At the beginning I couldn't understand what he meant, and then it transpired that he meant the car that stopped near us, far from the CP, quite a distance beyond the crazy white line... From the moment we retreated to the white line the soldiers began letting pass almost without any checking and in five minutes all the pedestrians (because of the distance an exact estimate is impossible, but it seems there were about 100) and a large part of the cars.

16:50 - Huwwara -
Many people crowd near the turnstiles, near the "humanitarian" passageway, to leave Nablus. In the dark and because of the distance, it is difficult to estimate their number, they look like a big human block, but surely there are over 100 people.
When we arrive a young woman is investigated near the stairs to the parking area and a few young men are waiting for her. It turns out that she tried to leave Nablus by way of the turnstile intended for the entry. One of the soldiers wants to detain her, the other jests with her and she in turn jests with him (does she have another option?). The waiting lads become nervous at this situation and fear for her honor. The tension grows and Dorit tries to calm it, all the more because we got the impression that the jesting soldiers tries to persuade his colleagues not to detain her. She is led into the "women's checking booth" and the young men relax only when we point out that it is a woman soldier who enters with her, not a man. The young men leave, and the girl remains standing, with her girl friend, near the passages behind the turnstiles.
One of the soldiers notices that I crossed the white line and arrives in haste to remove me. I refuse and he calls his commander, an officer with the rank of a lieutenant, who says he'll call the police. I hear him say into the phone that "the Machsomwatch women create havoc at the CP".
In the meantime an elderly man, an Israeli citizen Palestinian from Faradis turns to us (yes, yes, the same man who six months ago volunteered to transport to Gaza the man who underwent heart surgery who lay on the pavement at the CP and he sends warm regards to Yehudit L.). His mother is an invalid, lives in Nablus, and he is detained each time he comes to visit her. His four year old son is due to undergo next week in Haifa a serious operation on his legs and he very much wants his mother and sister to come to him from Nablus. He submitted a request but it doesn't seems probable that his will be granted.
 
17:30 - The detained girl is released and we leave.

At Za'tara - there are 6 cars from north to south and 3 from west to east.