Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 7.4.08, Afternoon
13.45 Shaar Hashomron.
We were surprised to find no police. Along the road we saw Palestinians walking.
Marda ... open. Zeita, Jamien. Closed. Like any other day in the last year.
From the west 10 cars. Even though there were many soldiers at the checkpoint not much checking. A minute later we see why, a change in shift. Then they go through and this was so until we left the checkpoint. 8 cars from the north. No detainees. No dogtrainer.
A cauliflower is thrown out on the road and we will have to make up a story as to why this is so because the Palestinians not throw such valuable articles on the road.
As soon as we arrive a man tells us of a girl who has already been detained for half an hour and her ID taken from her. We meet the girl who is exhausted from her studies and long wait at the checkpoint. She has to prepare for an exam tomorrow morning. She is 19 years old, a student at A-Nagach and lives in a village of which the name is unknown to us and which we are ashamed to admit we could not understand. But on her ID is written that she is from Gaza. Her parents left there for the West Bank 10 years ago but only her father has managed to change the place of residence as is necessary. Her brother is also detained each morning for years. In the beginning she was very suspicious and hostile but softened as time went by and she warmed to us. We promised to do what we could and phoned Dana at the centre and also R. who said that he has been dealing with the matter for the past half an hour and the whole army knows about this. Her father is a military judge of the Palestinian Authority and their DCO is on their way to deal with the matter as well.
In the meantime at the checkpoint: The x-ray device is very busy and the goods of a household are sent through. The dogtrainer is not present.
The car lane. A trade v ehicle is checked for 7 minutes by 4 soldiers. The passengers stand at the back at a distance of 20 metres. The sergeant, E., the commander brings a chair for the girl N. so that she can rest for a while. At first she refuses but then puts her packages on the chair.
A military policewoman shouts at an elderly man in a suit and who is police to stand at the side of the fast lane. "You will wait for your son for three hours and do so in silence." The man moves backwards and his eyes look at mine and he says, "You see the Falasha. There they were nothing and here she thinks that she is a queen. She shouts at him, "Because you are bothering me here. Why are you stuck here at the post." He is angry and shouts back "Try to learn some history and some manners before you tell me how to behave." And with those words he leaves the checkpoint. The policewoman does not calm down and tells everyone the story. "What does he want to bring me history and other matters here. What nonsense is this?" Riva tries to speak to her. "When you have time come here and I will try to teach you something about history." The policewoman does not likes this attempt to educate her and complains to the sergeant who is responsible for her that we "spoke to her." He in turn says "Lady please do not speak to my soldiers...you hear me?" From a distance of 20 metres. He refuses to come hear so that we can hear him. As if he is the most elegant in the world he says, "I am very busy and will come if I have time." We saw him no more.
AT 15.00 We give N. our phone number and go to Beit Furik
15.15 Beit Furik.
3 cars going through about 1-2 minutes. J. is the commander and reminds us that a few days ago he was helped by Machsomwatch women to get a permit for someone from Jenin who wanted to enter Beit Furik. We were surprised that a commander needs our help. He himself could do this through the DCO. He was glad to tell us that all was quiet with no special alerts today. The cars are sent through in turn once from Nablus and once from Beit Furik.He tells us that there are new orders to close the checkpoint at 23.00, all the checkpoints, and this is making things difficult for the soldiers as they now have long shifts.
When we come back we are sorry to find N. still there. Her father is standing next to her and shows us his ID and that he is a resident of the West Bank. Again we phone the DCO and speak to D. and are passed on to T. who is trying to solve the problem. He says he has been phoning the DCO each half hour to find out what is happening. N. tells us that while we were gone the commander had taken the chair away without saying a word. One of the military policewomen has been staring at her in a frightening way and she is scared to stand alone. Our presence makes her feel safer and warms her.
We leave at 16.15 and she promised to let us know when she was freed. 20 minutes later we were happy to hear that she was on her way home. D. from the DCO also phoned to tell us and said that the girl must now see to change her ID as otherwise she will have problems every time.
A large trade van is detained in the checkpoint and two people stand next to it about 20 metres away while the dog checks. 12 cars wait from the north and 3 from the west.
At Shaar Shomron only one Israeli car and the soldier waves us through and greets us.