Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 21.1.08, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
The roadblock is packed. The soldiers use three lanes and still there are tens of cars in the queue. The soldiers are reservists and the commander listens to us patiently and understandingly. We tell him of the complaints by the bus drivers who have to wait in the general queue and then to unload their passengers for an additional inspection in the car park, something which makes the passengers prefer to take taxis and leaves the bus drivers unemployed. The commander understands and says that the complaint should be passed to those above him. True. At the same time a bus is inspected at break-neck speed and continues on its way.
We got to know a porter here and have brought him some clothes - we bring the parcels of clothes to his house thus passing right through the village. He tells us of his poverty stricken life. They get water in jugs and buckets. We saw women and children carrying empty bottles to the source of the water. A water tanker comes once a day or so. Electricity? "Weak". Soldiers entered the village at night a couple of days ago, they entered a particular house, turned its occupants out, combed the house and when they left money had disappeared (NS350) as well as other things. One of the boys was arrested. He told us all this and promised to pass detailed facts to whoever was involved in the incident.
There is a queue in front of the roadblock. At a certain point a soldier starts to shout and sends the person being inspected to the back and the queue stops but starts again within a few minutes. The traffic of cars to Nablus is at the normal pace, but there is no crowding.
A young man is in the cell; according to the Palestinians he is on his way to a funeral in Jordan. We try to approach the soldiers to find out his fate, and then a rude female soldier and a male soldier who obeys orders and another soldier turn us into the cause of a disturbance because we have crossed the white line and the red line. I ask to speak to the officer. He is not there. The behaviour of the soldiers towards those crossing is loud and rude. Particularly the soldier in the left hand position who shouts at a man crossing "Ishlach, ishlach", which means ‘undress' so rudely that it makes us boil. Afterwards she shouts at us imitating our voices (a bad imitation by the way) and says that she will hold up the roadblock until we return to the correct line. The officer arrives and seems to have no control over the situation. He is not concerned at the vulgarity of the soldier's tone or to the soldier next to her who shifts the Palestinians backwards and forwards. We have no choice but to move forward to see and hear what is going on and that is what we do. Then the three soldiers tackle us again as if this is the most important thing they have to deal with at this moment: where the women of MachsomWatch stand. Afterwards the officer comes to explain to us why this is happening (nothing that you have not heard already) and he gets a flowing lecture from Tsvia on the relationship between the occupier/occupied in history. He listens. He makes his point (nothing that you have not heard already). Meanwhile the detainee is released and a Palestinian holding a permit to transport goods complains about an experience he had in Israel, despite the permit and documents, an Egged driver did not allow him to get on the bus on the way back from Petach Tikva to Nablus. We are passing the complaints to ‘Yesh Din' with all the particulars. (In parenthesis we have to say that he is lucky to have got a permit to transport goods.)