Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 4.2.08, Afternoon
We went out on the shift with the echoes of the terrorist attack in Dimona in our ears.
12.40 Marda. The western gate has again been broken through by the residents. Life is stronger than anything else.
Zeita. Three soldiers next to the obstruction and were told that they are protecting people who endangered their lives (Israeli workers) and therefore the jeep was there but they were leaving soon.
Za'tara. 6 cars which passed only showing IDs.
Only a few pedestrians. At the top parking lot we heard that today was a good day and the soldiers were acting decently. One of the people said to Micky that each time the soldiers see the Machsomwatch women they close the checkpoint and he was very dissatisfied at this. A military policeman very gentle in her behaviour says that there are waves of people and not all the day are things so quiet. Another soldier comes to demand we stand behind the white line. We turn to go and a car comes up and the soldiers carry on chatting and take no notice and then also many pedestrians. The passage is swift but the car still waits.
Then two lads of 16 are stopped with whom Micky had spoken and they are taken behind the wall where they are questioned. After that two more soldiers came to question them. The car is stil waiting. 10 minutes later we phoned R. who said he would immediately deal with it but 10 minutes later we had to phone again. The boys are put in the detention cell where we cannot speak with them. People say they are from Balata and maybe that is why they were detained. R. says they are security risks and that information about them had been received beforehand. Half an hour later Micky takes the phone number of the driver so that he should be able to phone us.
H., the commander, rushes towards us saying that we are blocking the road. He tells us to park where the stones are and besides that we are forbidden he says to speak to anyone because this is his area. Micky made a complaint about him to the humanitarian centre. 35 minutes after the beforementioned car had arrived at the checkpoint it is sent through with a wave of the hand.
Beit Furik....this was a good day!.
14.20. Awarta 5 cars waiting to enter Nablus.
3 turnstiles are open and there is a dogtrainer. An English doctor of the Ecumenical group exits Nablus with a Swedish journalist whom we had taken to see the area and says that things are quiet. A young man says he waited an hour at the checkpoint. Others say 10 minutes.
From Beit Furik we phoned Micky to tell her of the long line of cars. The centre and R. were informed.
15.10 Cars were checked very carefully each for about 10 minutes. Car doors were opened, passengers checked bodily including their clothing and the "CP dance". We asked since when are they checked in this fashion and the answer was that the alternative was to send them through the magnometer and that it was better to be quiet in such a case. A bus which had been waiting when we arrived passed at 15.27 . The check here was 10 minutes long as for each private car with only a few passengers.
15.10 A young man with a long knife....according to the commander was stopped. R. said that the man said that he was a slaughter and that the knife was for his work. His occupation was checked while he was kept in the isolation guarded by a soldier.
At 15.15 a jeep with many highranking officers arrived. They were from the education division of the Shomron brigade who were working on a course for soldiers so as to teach them how to behave and we will send a separate report about this.
15.30 A soldier is navigating the side line and screaming at people to behave with energetic movement of his hands. R. goes to replace him.
On our way to the village of Huwwarra we saw many armoured cars. We do not know if they were going into Nablus or to the brigade. While we are at the checkpoint of Huwwarra we saw a bus with captains getting a briefing from R. and two of them came up to speak to us. The idea is to train soldiers to work with civilian populations especially after having been in the war zone of Gaza.