Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 24.12.07, Afternoon
Translation: Hanna K.
At the Ariel hitch-hiking stop - in the direction west - three soldiers guard a deserted station
In the station for traffic heading east - three soldiers guard a few waiting people.
Kif el Hars - is blocked. The cars unload goods back to back.
12:40: Marda - the entrance is open. Zeita - still blocked.
12:50 - Za'tara CP:
Four cars heading east - only IDs are checked, without physical checks. Coming from the north there are 7 cars waiting, but they are not delayed for long.
The checkpoint commander a woman with the rank of second lieutenant "does not impart intelligence information to civilians" this is her reaction to our question whether there are special alerts.
At the humanitarian center they reported that there are no alerts today.
13:20 Beit Furik:
At the upper parking lot there are 11 cars waiting and one of the drivers tells us that he has been waiting for over an hour and a half. Moreover, there were complaints about the late opening of the CP in the morning - at a quarter to six, instead of at five as on any other day. A phone call to the humanitarian center resulted in almost immediate action: the cars passed much more quickly a few moments after we arrived there.
There are two detainees - a pedestrian who tried to transfer an engine, and after he was told to put it aside as it was forbidden to take it with him to Beit Furik, tried to load it on a vehicle. The second detainee is, of course, the driver of the vehicle.
The CP commander, sergeant Y., comes up and wishes to find out whether the complaint that reached him in this matter came from us.
In answer to our question regarding the detainees: they have to learn their lesson.
There are few pedestrians and they are not detained for long.
13:50 - Awarta -
There are two trucks waiting to enter Nablus.
Five soldiers are idle.
There is one detainee - his friends tell us that he was detained because "a fruit knife was found in his possession". According to them he is sitting there for over half an hour.
The CP commander, lieutenant B: takes a knife out of his pocket and shows it to us, saying that that is a knife which it is forbidden to carry even within the boundaries of Israel. He sits here for no longer than a quarter of an hour. The knife is indeed of a long blade and looks very sharp. He reported on it and is now waiting for further instructions.
There are few people waiting - about half a shed full.
The humanitarian queue advances quickly.
There are only two turnstiles active - when we ask why lieutenant B. explains that the third one broke down during the former shift. He has reported on is and has asked that is be repaired today. In the meantime - people are waiting in the queue.
There are two girl dog trainers in the area.
The checking of a taxi - all the doors are opened, the passengers are requested to pass their bags through the x-ray machine and to perform the CP-dance to the military policemen. The total delay is five minutes.
A private car - only IDs were checked.
Another taxi - is being checked, also by a dog trainer. The checking is especially meticulous, perhaps owing to the changing of the guard that took place this week.
A third taxi - the checking took 10 minutes, including a checking by the dog trainer and everything else.
There is an accumulation at the humanitarian queue -
T. from the DCO goes up to the post and discharges the people quickly.
14:30 - an Israeli car leaves Nablus. It is checked very thoroughly: its passengers have an entry permit to Nablus - journalist cards, but the soldiers check the vehicle to make sure no explosive matter was hid in it.
14:45 - the police arrives, they take the soldier who detained the man with the knife, for investigation. Later they investigate the detainee.
According to the DCO he will be transferred to one of the two: If they'll get the impression at the police that there is interest in him he will be handed over to the security services, but if not he'll be handed over to the Palestinian police.
15:50 - Za'tara - there are 38 cars coming from the north waiting, 5 coming from the east.