Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 17.1.08, Afternoon
At Ariel the soldiers are protecting the hiking post. It is very cold.
14.09 Marda The southern exit is open, narrow, a dirt road. All the exits from the West Bank have been closed by mounds of earth. The main gate is open.
Zeita. The main gate is still closed by cement blocks.
Za'tara...25 cars in either direction.
No curfew in the village and the checkpoint at Burin/Yizhar is empty.
14.22 Huwwara checkpoint.
10 people detained next to a car. They stand not far from the humanitarian area...for once they have not been put into the isolation. The driver says he brought them there on a road which is permitted to Palestinians from the checkpoint of Awarta after they had tried to pass Huwwarra through the fields. The soldiers had stopped the car and told him to come to Huwwara but had not taken his ID or keys. He pointed out that with him he had a woman and a small handicapped boy on crutches. We spoke to R. at the DCO who was present and the three were freed but the others were punished by being detained. They had already been there an hour and when we left for Beit Furik they were still there. They said that at Awarta they had also waited two hours.
As soon as we arrived there a military policewomen came to tell us that we were forbidden to cross the red line.
There were 3 checking posts of the young, the magnometres were working and there was a humanitarian line. An x-ray machine fotheir parcels. No pressure of cars entering Nablus. We cannot see how many are waiting to exit and there are many people at the checkpoint.
16.00 Beit Furik CP.
As soon as we arrive a soldier arrives to chase us back beyond the white line.
Cars waiting to enter Nablus are not delayed but from the direction of Nablus there is a long line.
Surprisingly however there are two lines open to check them. This "pleasure" did not last long.
16.11 A Hummer arrives and 3 soldiers are left who allow another lane to open and now there is no checking. Under the shed are 40 people waiting to leave Nablus and they are checked slowly.
16.19 No cars are going through and we phone G. at the center. She knows about this and it will open soon. Now the pedestrians coming from Nablus are sent through quickly. But on the other hand those coming from Beit Furik to Nablus wait 25 minutes.
16.33 We phone the center about the cars and A. says that there is stoppage of life but we who are at the checkpoint see nothing out of the ordinary. The pedestrians are slowly going through but for 22 minutes cars are delayed. This since the Hummer left and the three soldiers are not doing anything at all.
16.39 We phone R. that he should send reinforcements and he says that there is an "operational incident" but still we can see that nothing is happening and the soldiers are very comfortable and chatting amongst themselves as they check the pedestrians. They have all the time in the world and are not tense about anything.
16.49 We phone N. to tell him of the pressure and the delay of cars from Nablus and also now from Beit Furik and he is very surprised and says that they found something at the checkpoint but we are here and there has been nothing!!!
It is to be noted the seriousness and urgency of the reply that we got from the centre and from the DCO about this socalled event. We photographed this event at the checkpoint.
A driver from Beit Furik who drove to Nablus said that he had passed 45 cars trying to get home.
17.00 At Yitamar there is a Hummer at the hitching post.
Burin/Yitzhar is empty.
Za'tara..33 cars from the north. No checking.