Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 12.5.08, Afternoon
13.15 Two armed guards in the shade of the 0live trees, They keep an eye on the work being done on the road.
Marda is open. Zeita-Jamaiem is closed.
On the road opposite the public works authority is busy putting up a new rail on the road.
From the west there are no cars waiting. From the north there are 17 and two checking areas. No detainees. When we drove back there were 9 cars.
13.40 Beit Furik.
At the upper car park we are met with the traditional cry of where is Micky. There are taxis waiting some say for half an hour, some for an hour. At the checkpoint itself the soldiers take no notice of us and check the cars coming from Nablus. We asked the commander about the car park and the taxi drivers' complains. He smiles and says that 20 minutes ago he himself checked and there had been no cars there. The line at the upper parking area continues to grow and till 14.00 only 10 cars had entered Nablus during which time cars leaving Nablus are allowed to pass too. Almost no pedestrians. Those who do pass say to us "well done".
The work on the Palestinian side of the road slows down the trucks who wish to exit Nablus. There were about 10. A man comes to us and asks us for clothes for his children of which he has 14. He is waiting for work back to back of which there is none and cannot make a living.
2 checking areas. Today is hot and there is no dog .....they cannot work in such heat. The checkpoint is well handled and we are told that the usual lines of men pass in 10 minutes and in the humanitarian people pass the whole time.
14.40 4 soldiers check a taxi and after that they disperse and the checking stops. A. from the DCO says that there are no cars waiting from Nablus. E. the commander completely ignores us. I tried to ask why only two checking posts are working but he demonstratively ignores our presence.
15.00 we hear shouts and next to the isolation we see E. with his back to us and a Palestinian facing us who is pressed to the cement wall saying "I did not give you any problems."
E. raises handcuffs which are in his hands and hits the man on the hand with them. The man 's hands are red. The DCO speaks to the man. A. from the DCO moves from his place to speak to H. on the phone and then E. kicks the man again. The man says in a normal voice that is not begging nor retreating. "Do not do that, do not do that again." After some words the three go into the isolations. We see a red slogan which says "Until when>" A. comes out and we hear groans of pain. It seems E. has continued beating the man....this time with none seeing. We can only hear. E. comes out of the isolation and locks it. Then he goes in again and speaks with the man behind locked doors. Now E. goes to the water tank, fills two bottles and takes it to the soldiers. Truly he is a good commander who cares about his men.
I go to the side of the isolation taking advantage of his disappearance and ask the man for his details and what happened.
"My name is M. and I was in the line for checking.I am a taxi driver and another driver went forward in my place and so I went forward to say that it was my turn. E. came and told me to go to the "jorra" and to give him the keys which I said were in the car. Then he pushed and hit me and I want to make a complaint".
We left the place at 16:00.00 with the phone number of the man and the DCO said they would let me know of further developments.
At 18.40 I received the good news that M. had been freed and allowed to return home.
At the parking lot Abad who has the kiosk of toys on the traffic lane asked what had happened to E. and why he demanded that he remove his kiosk when only two months ago he himself had given him permission to do so.
M. , the Palestinian driver who had been beaten by E. asked to speak to someone who speaks Arabic.
I asked Fathia who today was at the Huwwara shift to do so and he met her today together with Z. who has replaced E. Here is the story.
M. is a taxi driver and it was his turn to take passengers. Another driver tried to take the passengers from him. He went to the man and asked him to move because he was first in line. E.came up and told both of them to get away. M. explained to him what had happened and E. asked for his ID and said to him that he was under arrest. When he took him to the "jorra" he wanted to handcuff him and M. refused saying it was enough. The rest we saw, Macky, I and the DCO A. The situation at the moment is that M. refused to give him the number of his ID and decided not to make a complain. He says. I am a driver and have to go through the checkpoint and do not want problems with the soldiers.