Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 25.2.08, Morning
Translation: Hanna K.
06:25 A phone call from Beit Furik report on a queue of about 50 cars at the entrance to Nablus.
The driver reported that he has been waiting since 06:00. An attempt to reach E. or R. proved unsuccessful. We informed the DCO who promised to take care of the matter.
Only at 07:05 the driver passed the CP. He reported that they opened a second lane. Later it transpired, from the CP commander at Beit Furik that the unit of the CP soldiers, who were sleeping at Itamar, arrived late for their shift and therefore couldn't open a second lane. When we arrived at Beit Furik some time later (see the report below) there was no queue anymore.
07:40 we look from road no. 5 towards the parallel road on the right which leads from Haras, via Barkan to the village of Diq. Cars pass in both directions.
07:50 Marda: the village is surrounded by fences and barbed wire. Only the main entrance is open.
07:52 Zeita - the concrete blocks obstruct the exit from the village to road no. 5. People go down at the end of the path and catch a taxi in the direction of Haras or Za'tara.
A military hammer is situated there, but the soldiers do not stop anybody.
A few cars coming from Nablus and also from the west, from road no. 5. They are passed quickly and without delays. A bus coming from the direction of Nablus is checked for 10 minutes. The passengers of the bus tell us that there is a segregation and that the inhabitants of Nablus, Jenin and Tul Karem are not allowed to leave Nablus. A passenger aged 20 from Tubas holding a medical certificate, on his way to an eye operation at Ramallah was passed on at Nablus and at the CP too without delays. A girl dog trainer checks 2 cars and this time to our surprise the car owners are allowed to watch this "military secret". They too are released after the checking. When we approached one of the soldiers to find out about the segregation we saw that he was wearing a little flag on which was incscribed "in all honour to the IDF" and he informed us that we were forbidden to talk to them. We made do with the information we got from the Palestinians.
08:25 Burin\Yitzhar: the CP is not manned.
08:35 Beit Furik.
Few pedestrians pass the CP quickly. At the car queue at the entrance to Nablus there are only 2 cars. There are 2 lanes open at this early hour and the cars from Nablus are allowed to enter, at the same time as the cars leaving Beit Furik are allowed to pass. Each car is checked for about a minutes.
A little piquantness from the CP adventures: an inhabitant of Beit Furik tries to transport a steering wheel axle for repair in Nablus. At the CP it is made clear to him that he cannot transport it for security reasons. We called from a distance to the CP commander S., who says he cannot let the axle pass because this is the order of the military policeman, who decides what is allowed to pass and what isn't. The CP commander is responsible only for the security. If he should get an order from the Operation Room to let it pass - he will do it. He himself cannot make the call (why? - just so! There is an operational chain of command...) I contacted the Nablus DCO Operation Room and they promised to investigate. We also tried to contact A. He doesn't try too hard to help. He only tells the Palestinian to load the axle on a truck (on a truck, it seems, the security reasons dissolve). The Palestinian doesn't want to complicate matters for the truck drivers. He returns the part to Beit Furik and decides to wait for the next shift of soldiers. In the meantime they return to us from the DCO and are astonished to hear that the military policeman is the one who decides. According to themhis task isonly to check IDs. Transportation of objects belongsto the task of the CP commander and the man should be allowed to transport the part. They promised to transfer the order by means of the battalion commander.
At 09:10 the order arrives that the object should be passed. The man returns the dangerous steering wheel axle from Beit Furik and passes it through the CP. The CP commander is informed what his duties are and the military policeman is returned to his former size. This is true at this moment but what about the future?
At 09:00 the checking of the people entering Nablus was stopped. They enter freely. The CP commander meets us with a smile and informs us that the segregation has been lifted. We happily inform Limor at the Association. But it turns out that our joy was premature. A telephonic check shows that only those entering Nablus at Huwwara enjoyed the lifting of the segregation. At other places such as Beit Ibba and Tul Karem the segregation was still in full swing.The CP commander tells us that he had an event concerning our shift on the day before, but didn't elaborate. He told us that they would probably complain about him in the report. Did he change his behavior today? With us, at least, he was very nice and showed interest in the prices of the Beigels and falafel we bought from the Palestinians, and for a moment was even ready to hear our views about the CPs. In a friendly manner he expressed his conclusions: "this is our land, because we lived here two thousand years ago...and came back!".
The people leaving Nablus pass quickly and undergo the well known humiliating procedure - the checking of the goods, the unfastening of the belts... there is a queue for women and men over 45.
At 10:00 the pedestrian queue is empty and the military policewoman calls at us happily: "Nu, you should say well done - they all passed!" Indeed, never before did the turnstiles for people coming from Nablus seem so empty and superfluous - but still the CPs will probably be here for a long time...until we understand that the Palestinians too have an inherent right to their homeland not less than we do.
11:00 We left taking the road through Jit - there too there was an unmanned post.