Azzun, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 2.4.08, Morning
Translation: Rachel B.
Zeita: 7:00 AM
True to form, the road is totally blocked.
Za'tara/Tapu'ach: 7:10 AM
To our great surprise, the junction is empty on all sides. Two stations are open for processing.
Beit Furik: 7:25 AM
There are 4 vehicles waiting at the upper parking lot. The cars are proceeding slowly through the checkpoint. The soldiers periodically stop checking cars and just hang out with their hands in their pockets. But, since there are not many cars, it is not that noticeable.
There is a fair amount of pedestrian traffic. On a random basis, the pedestrian' bags are checked next to the turnstile, including the school bag of a little boy.
A group of soldiers arrives at the site (coming or going to military maneuvers). They appear to be from the same unit as the soldiers on duty and they hug each other in front of the Palestinians who are waiting at the checkpoint, all the while stopping its operation.
Huwwara: 8:05 AM
When we arrived we saw 4-5 cars waiting on the northern approach and 3 from the south. On the southern side the wait was initially rather long because there was no soldier stationed there. But a Border Police female soldier was waiting for cover (by another soldier, before she can start checking people through). Later things improved and the checking went on fairly swiftly. The soldiers were also polite.
Here, too, there is fairly heavy pedestrian traffic. Three stations are operating and the checks are thorough.
A teenager is detained by order of the Security Services and placed in the holding pen. We should note that the commander comes over to us specifically in order to explain this. Within 10 minutes he is released to go on his way.
During our time here we attended to a problem that emerged regarding transporting cancer patients from Nablus to the Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem. We passed the problem along to Hemi and then to Hannah B., who did her best to resolve it. Since this was a humanitarian situation, we asked the commander and the officer from the District Coordination Office to show sensitivity to the circumstances (and not hold them up).
Wee left the checkpoint area. We returned to Road #60. The entrance to Azzun is totally shut down.