Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), יום ש' 17.5.08, בוקר
Translation: Suzanne O.
We arrived at 7:15 a.m. There are 15 cars from north to south. Three lanes are open and the crossing flows. From west to east there are 5 cars in the queue. When a coach arrives the crossing is held up and a long queue builds up. The coach passengers are taken off for inspection and they all get their documents back. The inspection took some 10 minutes. As soon as the coach left the soldiers were able to deal with the rest of the cars and the traffic started to flow again. The inspections were random.
We arrived at 8:15 a.m. The traffic of pedestrians in the direction of Nablus is very heavy. The car park is almost full and business is good. At the entrance from Nablus to the south the queue reaches the edge of the hut. Three inspection lanes and a ‘humanitarian' one are functioning. A young disabled man walking with the aid of a stick is asked to raise his trouser bottoms and also to expose his stomach. He finds it very difficult to do so without leaning on his stick but ‘orders are orders' and nothing can be done about them.
Suddenly a few officers appear in a white jeep, similar to those used by the DCO. They all put on their flak jackets and tin helmets and go over to the inspection lane leading north. Traffic stops and the atmosphere is tense - what's going on? A few minutes later a convoy of new, clean, black estate cars appears bearing the badges of the Palestinian Police, behind them are two new, shiny coaches with POLICE written on them and motorcyclists accompany them all. Are these the forces that will serve in Jenin?
When the convoy passed we heard on their wireless that the officers should ‘rush' to Tapuach to help the Palestinian police cross there too. From where we stood we could see the faces of those sitting by the windows in the coach, they did not express either happiness or excitement but only wonder or perhaps anger that the IDF accompanies them to their destination in their own country.
The roadblock opened again for traffic, a new detainee stands smoking beside the lockup. The roadblock commander explains that the man "is wearing a jacket with pouches, like those of the soldiers and they need to check where the jacket comes from". This shows that in the territories one should weigh the kind of fashion one wears in order not to be held up at the roadblocks.
We are happy to report that the man is released immediately after our enquiry. A ‘security' incident of the highest level.
We left at 10:00 a.m.