Awarta, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 17.3.08, Afternoon
Translation: Maureen A.
The entrance to Zeita-Ja'm'in is still closed. A military jeep is parked across from the concrete blockage and two soldiers are walking around near the road-block.
Za'tara Junction Checkpoint -
There are almost no cars coming from any direction. There's an additional security-check station checking vehicles going towards Nablus. The "Humanitarian Centre" has let us know that there is no segregation today.
13:45 Beit Furik Checkpoint -
The taxi drivers tell us that there had been more than fifty cars waiting that morning, and that passage through the checkpoint had been extremely slow. It was only when the DCO officer arrived that they started to check the vehicles at a decent pace.
When we got there, there weren't any cars in line from Beit Furik. There were a few cars from the Nablus direction waiting in line to be checked.
Obviously, the moment we got there, the Checkpoint Commander (a sergeant) ran up to us and asked us to keep behind the white line. The Military Policewomen joined in, started to yell at us and said they were shutting down the checkpoint till we moved away. And that's how it worked. They showed no interest in the letter from the IDF Legal Counsel, wherein it says that it is illegal to shut down the checkpoint due to our presence.
We called the "Humanitarian Centre", the DCO representative and Noa, who let the IDF Legal Counsel know of the situation. We moved away, so as not to hold up the passage of people through the checkpoint. Later on, we again spoke to the "Humanitarian Centre", who told us that the soldiers had told them that they had never closed down the checkpoint. We have the whole incident on film.
14:15 There are no detainees at the Awarta Checkpoint. There are only a few trucks in line.
14:30 Huwwara Checkpoint -
There is one detainee in the solitary confinement area. He's been in there for half an hour. According to the DCO representative on the spot, he's on the Generl Security Service wanted list. The Checkpoint Commander says he's waiting for an answer from the GSS before he can let him go. There aren't a lot of pedestrians at the checkpoint; those we asked said it took them between 40 minutes and an hour to go through.
There is no canine unit, so that shortens the time it takes to check out each vehicle. It takes about three minutes a car.
15:20 At the Burin Checkpoint, which hadn't been manned when we passed on our way in, there are soldiers checking vehicles coming from the Yitzhar direction.
15:40 There are still very few vehicles at the Za'tara Checkpoint, from any direction.