Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 4.3.08, Afternoon
Translation: Hanna K.
13:55 Za'tara Junction -
8 cars coming from the east are waiting, 17 coming from the south, there are 3 active checking posts
14:05 Huwwara -
There is a curfew in the town, the shops are closed.
About 50 people are waiting in the shed. There are 3 checking lanes plus one "humanitarian" one. The queue advances without special delays.
15:10 Beit Furik -
There is no queue in of cars in the direction of Nablus. 4-5 cars are waiting at the exit from Nablus. There are 2 detainees in the shed. The detainees are a shepherd from the village of Saalem and his cousin who came to assist him to get back his ID card which was taken from him on the previous day, when he arrived in the area with his sheep. It turns out that the two are detained since before noon. They were detained when they came to ask back the ID card of the shepherd.
The checkpoint commander (second lieutenant (or perhaps first lieutenant?) Y. demonstrated how somebody (an IDF officer) can get involved in lies in order to cover up a mixture of maliciousness and stupidity.
When we arrived he hurried up to us in to order us not to advance beyond the white line, but then it took a long time until he agreed to come back to us and explain the circumstances that led to the detention of the two young men. In the meantime we contacted the DCO people who told us that the commander claims that he detained the shepherd because he tried to bypass the CP - a clearly illogical explanation, as everybody admits that the shepherd arrived at the CP expressly in order to get his ID card back. When, after over half an hour, we finally succeeded to talk with the commander Y. and to plead our argument he replied that "the cshepherd didn't come by himself but was brought to the CP and there it was ascertained that indeed the ID card is his". When we expressed our amazement at the fact that the two are still detained for so many long hours he answered that "he was investigating the matter" (what more was there to investigate?). All the time we were in contact with the DCO people. They tried to assist but each time were confronted with a new lie which the lieutenant supplied them.
We decided to leave the place for some time in order to enable our "friend" Y. to climb down from the tree which he planted there. When we returned after about half an hour the two were still sitting in the shed. We again phoned the DCO to understand why they were still detained. Their reply was that the lieutenant informed them that they had already been released. When we assured the DCO that the young men were sitting in front of us, they again contacted the lieutenant. He again promised to release the two (but demanded also that we move away) and again he released them a few minutes later. All in all the two young men had been sitting there since before noon until 16:30, and it seemed that they would have been dried out there for many more hours, were it not for our pressure and the help of the DCO.
16:45 Za'tara junction -
There are very few cars coming from all directions, passing without hardly having to wait