Azzun, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 27.12.07, Afternoon

Observers: 
Michal (guest) Tamar F. Debbie, a new volunteer, Daphna B. (reporting)
27/12/2007
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Afternoon
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Natanya translating.

14.14 - A trip to the blockage of the entrance of Azzun. A constant movement of people trickling through the blocked area on their way to Israel or of those coming back from their daily or weekly work and many children selling vegetables.

The lone house, the private prison of the Amar family next to the colony of Elkana and 2 children aged 6 and 8 playing as if it was normal next to the barbed wire fence. Along the entire road and so it is along road 5 are many pedestrians and even bicycles, Israeli cars  let off passengers next to Az-Zawiya. Many people coming back from work in Israel.

15.15 Crossroads of Za'tara.
13 cars in either direction. The police are checking and we did not stop.
 

Beit Furik.
Drivers tell us that this morning there were 100s of cars waiting to enter Nablus. Since Friday  has been very bad and now they say that there are 100s of cars waiting to leave Nablus. From where we were we could not see the end of the line but it was obvious that it was very long and cars stood one next to the other.

The reason was that the intervals of 7-10 minutes which we checked on our watches were caused by 4 of the soldiers strolling nonchalantly around on the road. When eventually the car was called forward the driver did the ritual dance but the cars was hardly checked and passed quickly. We phoned H. and 15 minutes later a jeep arrived from the DCO and then things began to move and it took 2-3 minutes a car.

No long lines of pedestrians, about 20-30 people the whole time.

As the same soldier had to check both those entering and leaving he tended to forget those coming from Beit Furik and they had to wait a long time.  When they lose patience they leave the line and go to that of those leaving Nablus and then they call to the soldier who lets them wait a few minutes as he is the one who has the power  and then lets them pass.

An old man of about 70 wants to go to Beit Furik as most of his family live there. Now he lives with his son in Nablus. The soldier says to him that he knows that people who do not live in Beit Furik are not allowed to go there and he is sent back. Today also he will not see his grandchildren.

The commander E. chases us away, we refuse and he says and that he will call the police but none arrived.

16.30 Huwwara.
Quiet and not many people and at the most about 50 in line. No detaineesinfo-icon and the soldiers are not tense.
Cars pass slowly and there is always a line of those wishing to enter Nablus.

5 minutes after we arrive a large kitchen knife is found in the belt of a 22 year old man. The knife has a green ribbon around it, very decorative. The commander walks around the checkpoint with the knife, tried to stab himself , waves it around so that all can see. The man is put into the isolation and the police called. The door is left open but the man himself closes it (maybe he is scared that someone will pull him out of there).
Tamar says that she heard him telling the soldiers "that he had come there so as to be caught. And it really seems so "

If he had come to use it why had he not done so before being caught. Why should one try to pass it through the checkpoint when it can easily be bought in Huwwara.

The unit, "Foxes", investigate him through the telephone. No one stopped us from talking to him and they did not guard him.
Everything was quiet. We took the number of his family to inform them, brought him something to drink and there was nothing more for us to do.

The soldiers were not hostile, did not send us off, did not enter into a conflict with us but there was just the usual unpleasant routine of " back back". The imploring look. The humiliating strip in front of a woman soldier and everything on the ground  as there is not enough place. 

18.00 - We left.
 

18.45 - Za'tara/Tapuach. 25 cars in both directions.