Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 6.12.07, Morning
Translation: Rachel B.
6.30 - Sha'ar Shomron - there is no police at the gate to the P.A. territories, and a long line of cars at the exit.
The new platform that has appeared in front of the exit from Ariel and looks like a parking lot, is evidently the conection to the road being paved and designated to be the lane to the opposite direction.
6.40 - Za'tara - 7 cars from the west and 7 from the north.
Between the checkpoint and watch tower there is a new concrete structure protected by sacks of sand for the soldier on duty. Commander of the checkpoint, Second Lieutenant T. refuses to give out any information.
We see, same as last week, that minibuses with their passengers are being transferred to the parking lot to wait. Later on T. from the DCO that these orders are theirs, as inspection of IDs of about 10 people holds up the passage in the CP for too long. The problem that we noticed, however, both this week and last week, is that private cars are being allowed to go through the CP while the minibuses and their passengers are being left aside and neglected, thus getting held up for a long time. Just before we left, we saw a minibus coming from the west being directed to the parking lot. The problem here could be even more serious, as the parking lot is farther out of the soldiers' sight, there is greater chance they will forget to attend to the vehicles and people over there. By the time we left the place, at 7.00, there were already 22 cars waiting in line coming from the north.
The checkpoints at Yitzhar and the entrance to Huwwara are not manned.
7.15 - Huwwara -
Lines are short, passage in the checkpoint is going smoothly. The CP commander is calm, and lets us in on what is happening.
7.35 - Beit Furik -
No lines of people or cars. We arrived at the time of change in shifts, and the CP is at a standstill. The new commander announces aggressively that if we do not move behind the white line he will stop the checkpoint. no problems (besides us) are noticed, so we leave the place.
8.00 - Awarta -
14 trucks at the entrance to Nablus and a line without an end anywhere within visioin at the exit from Nablus. Only 3 soldiers are on duty, and they also seem to be operating as if they were on an Italian strike. They claim they are working as fast as they can. There is only one lane for entrance and exit. During the 20 minutes that we were observing only one care was allwed to enter Nablus.
We called up the DCO and returned to Huwwara to look for the DCO representative.
8.30 - Huwwara - we informed the DCO T. about the situation at Awarta. He made a phone call, and came up to tell us that help was sent over. A woman with walking difficulty is leaning on the concrete wall next to the cars passage. Her husband is asking to allow them to order a cab from the other side, and the soldier sends him looking for a cab with passage permit to Nablus. At our request, the DCO intervenes and arranges for a car with a permit, which is going through anyway, to take the couple to the cab station at the other side . a little bit of good will and understanding on everybody's part makes it possible to help, even a little bit, within the chaotic reality of the CP.
R., another DCO arrives. We ask for his help regarding the situation in Awarta, and he too promised to see to it.
9.00 - we returned to Awarta. The CP is empty of cars in both directions!!! Unfortunately, we see that indifference of soldiers can affect affairs at the checkpoint, and in this particular case at Awarta has caused several hours of delay for many people and cars.