Awarta, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), יום ה' 1.5.08, בוקר
Tranlation: Suzanne O.
It is the May Day holiday in the Palestinian Authority.
The roadblock is functioning. There were relatively many soldiers. Half a kilometre later there was another small roadblock - a police car at the side of the road. We did not see it stop any cars.
Past the Barkan industrial estate a police car is parked at a small junction.
On the left we see the road works as a road is laid between Ariel and Shomron Gate.
The entrance to Marda is open but concrete blocks bar the one to Zeita, as usual.
There are about 15 cars in the queue from the direction of Huwwara. The unit at the roadblock is made up of reservists; the commander tells us that there are no limitations. A taxi in the car park is being given a sniffer dog search. The passengers are from Jenin. The inspection is completed relatively quickly. Two lanes are open. The soldiers stop a car with four passengers which has come from Huwwara. The dog checks the car and the soldier asks the passengers to sit on the pavement during the inspection. At the same time a coach with women and children arrives and it too is sent to be inspected; after about three minutes it continues on its way.
At the Menorah roundabout across the road a lone soldier stands behind a concrete block observing.
The crossing is open.
There is a soldier at the bus stop in front of the roundabout. The car park is almost completely empty. There are no detainees and almost no pedestrians. From the direction of Nablus there is a queue of about 12 people. Nahal soldiers are serving at the roadblock. Meanwhile the car park fills up a little.
The roadblock is empty. One back-to-back is loading in the car park.
There are about 17 cars in the queue; one of the drivers tells us that he has been waiting an hour already. All of the drivers we spoke to told us that today is a ‘bad day' at the roadblock. Only one lane is open for both directions.
There is a group of boys on holiday wanting to go to Nablus but they are not allowed to cross without their parents. They are on their way to Ramallah and a coach is waiting for them on the other side of the roadblock. They stand by the turnstiles waiting for permission from the DCO. A doctor who is crossing takes two boys across with him. He comes back and tries to take another two across but without success.
A coach with children and their mothers, all from Beit Furiq, has been waiting for about 20 minutes at the roadblock. The soldiers refused to let them cross and now they await permission from the DCO. Rachel contacts the DCO and was told that they know nothing about it. Meanwhile all the passengers on the coach are waiting. The driver asserts that he has a permit for the coach and all the passengers have permits, he does not understand why they are not allowed to cross. The soldiers on their part claim that coaches need special coordination and this has not been done.
The coach gets a permit and crosses having waiting for an hour and twenty minutes at the roadblock.
The older boys from the group, who have permits, are permitted to cross. The younger ones debate whether to go home to Beit Furiq or continue to wait.
The rest of the children cross too.
The car park is full. We just drive by without stopping.
There are 52 cars from the direction of Huwwara in the queue.
Marda and Zeita: the situation is as it was when we drove past this morning.