Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 30.3.08, Morning
Translation: Hanna K.
It is the Day of the Earth, a demonstration is due to leave Nablus, there is an additional burden at Huwwara.
07:30 Zeita: The blocking is the usual one. There are soldiers nearby.
Za'tara: There are 2 vehicles coming from the west, 8 from the north, there is an lively traffic of vehicles coming from Huwwara in the direction of the CP.
At the Yitzhar junction the CP is not activated.
07:55 Beit Furik:
There are 7 vehicles waiting. The driver to whom we talk informs us that the situation is better today. There is a flow of pedestrians, they stay for a short while at the turnstiles.
There are no incoming vehicles, in the outgoing vehicles queue there is a small number of trucks. The CP commander comes up to us, when we ask whether he comes to get rid of us answers - no, he just came to make sure we don't pass on any material to the Palestinians.
A lively traffic in the direction of the town. There is a congestion near the turnstiles, but the delay is light.
About 40 people at the turnstiles at the exit from Nablus. The CP routine: a checking truck, the removal of the belts and their strapping on, at least there are no girl dog trainers and no sniffing dogs.
08:45 - A soldiers who checks the vehicles entering Nablus turns to Yael: Do you know that you are not allowed to be here? A dialogue with him does not follow, as he went back to check the cars and didn't pay any attention to us (neither we to him).
About 15 soldiers arrived on the spot, with a hummer and an armored vehicle. It seems that because of the Day of the Earth that occurs today a demonstration coming from Nablus is expected to take place here. A., the CP commander informs us that we are forbidden to stay here today. According to the decree of the supreme commander of this military zone the entire area from Nablus to Za'tara is proclaimed a closed military zone. Nevertheless he allows us to stay until the beginning of the demonstration. The decree is not in his hands, but he is ready to bring it and to show it to us. When its arrival was delayed we approached Hanna B., who investigated and confirmed the existence of the decree. After some time it arrived and we could read it. We contact A., from the DCO. He demonstrates hostility towards us. Later he became reconciled and told us that yesterday our women arrived at their shift and when he asked them how things were one of them replied that as long as he was a soldier in uniform she was not prepared to talk to him.
09:25 - About 10 people at the turnstile.
09:35 - A man who sells flowers at the CP came up to us. His vehicle is full of flowers and the CP commander doesn't allow him to display the flowers near the exit from the CP, where he usually disaplys them. He turns to A. from the DCO and to the CP commander, tries to put the flowers at another corner, but this is not acceptable to the commander, the area has to be sterile. He suggests the man put the flowers at the parking lot, but there is no place there, and the man continues to try explaining to the commander, begs him, but to no avail, and he turns here and there, helpless and frustrated.
09:25 - A bagel vendor who wanted to display his merchandise at the entrance to the CP, because the peddlers' row is completely full tells us that A. from the DCO threatened him in the morning with imprisonment, should he display his merchandise where he wished to display it.
09:50 - 7-8 taxis are parked in a frontal line, to the left of the entrance of the parking lot. The commander goes up to their drivers and demands that they vacate the area. They do not move. He removes the keys of one of the taxis whose owner is not around and takes them. He pulls out a pocket knife and threatens to cut the tires of the taxis. He turns to one of the drivers: I told you to disappear from here - so disappear from here! The drivers do not react. One of them answers in a restrained and decisive manner: We must bring food for our children, this is our work, we cannot go away.
The commander looks strained and leaves the place.
10:00 - Again military vehicles arrive, park on the spot. They are waiting for the demonstration.
10:40 - We turn to the commander A., about the car keys which he took. He promises to return them in a few minutes and adds that he is interested in returning them, so that the driver should vacate the area quickly. When we ask that will happen to all those who are staying at the parking lot, he answered that if quiet be kept they would be allowed to stay.
We were forced to leave the CP because the demonstration had already left Nablus. We were not able to see it. Before leaving we left our phone number with a taxi driver and asked him to report to us should there be undesirable developments at the demonstration. He did not contact us.
We stopped to find out whether the decree about the closed military area had arrived here too, and what it meant concerning the settlers moving on the roads (as, according to the decree, movement was forbidden for Israeli too). The CP commander G., a Nahal reserve soldier, greeted us warmly and talked with us. He told us that the decree had reached him but he was not yet required to put it into action.
A Palestinian car is detained and its passengers are checked by the Israeli police. G. doesn't know why the car was stopped. Later he was asked by the police to check one of the passengers. The driver tells us that the identity number of that passenger is suspect, and he is usually detained for checking that lasts 20-30 minutes and then is released.
We left the CP.