Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 12.12.07, Morning
Translation: Rachel B.S.
07:20 - Za'tara-Tapuach -
10 cars from the west. There is some pressure from the north, but it soon goes down, as inspection is done in three lanes at the same time.
Two buses are waiting for inspection. The passengers try to get off from one of them for a smoke, but a female soldier from the Military Police disciplines the 'naughty children', some of whom are old enough to be her grandparents, and tells them to get back on the bus. A few moments later, she returns with another male soldier. Now all the passengers are told to come down and stand in a circle. The Ids are being distributed to their owners.
Burin-Yitzhar checkpoint is not manned, and the traffic gets through smoothly.
7:50 - Huwwara -
When we arrive the soldiers are in the middle of a drill. We heard some shouting from the direction of the turnstiles, then the soldiers scatter in all directions in shooting posts. The inspections were stopped. We did not understand what was happening exactly, and were not ordered to keep out. Then we saw the CP commander going through all the posts, we calmed down. The whole thing took about five minutes. The commander A. was kind enough to explain to us what we have just seen.
A small number of people are going through the pedestrian passage. In the vehicle lanes there is more traffic coming from the south, but the inspections are going steadily without delays. The soldier on duty sits inside the protected cell, one car comes up close. After handing out the documentation, the driver is ordered to drive backwards a little bit, to allow visual inspection of the license plate once more.
The parking lot is full, but relatively clean. However, Palestinians claim and the CP commander confirms that the toilets are still out of order. A. promised to present the matter once more to his commanders. Today the Brigade commander is expected to pay a visit.
Eti needed to use the toilet, and was allowed to use the soldiers'. She said, among the usual graffiti with bad language and obscenities she found one in there that read: "mother, your son is suffering in Huwwara checkpoint".
8:50 - Beit Furik -
No lines in the cabs lot. Traffic is little. By the time we leave the pedestrian flow grows a little. We sat down quietly behind the white line at the end of the checkpoint. CP commander A. who was being very hostile the last time we met him two weeks earlier, comes up to us and asks us if there is anything wrong, and why do we come here at all. Apparently for some reason our conversation this time managed to soften him a little,and he was willing to let us advance sporadically towards the inspection posts.
9:20 - back at Huwwara -
The flow of people entering Nablus is bigger than usual. We tried to find out why the holiday is not for another week. Two men are held in detention. Commander A. says their names were found in the short list. He will release them only when he receives orders from the security service.
9:35 - a car with an Israeli license plate and a sign "test" arrives at the checkpoint. the driver has a Palestinian ID. The problem is resolved within a short time by the DCO representative and the CP commander, and he is allowed in.
9:45 - one of the detainees is released. The other one is wanted for questioning. Eventually he is released as well.
A bus going out is being held up for a long time (about 25 minutes), its passengers were ordered to come down and stay out until the inspection was completed.
10:10 leaving the checkpoint. There is no line at Za'tara-Tapuach crossroad.