Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 1.6.08, Afternoon
Translation: Tal H.
Za'tara/Tapuach CP- 15:15
18 cars southbound, lined up in wait to be inspected.
In the middle of the junction roundabout stands a soldier manning a concrete ledge that serves as a shooting position. It is located as if to function in all directions, but the soldier constantly faces south.
On our way home, later, there were no cars waiting, but the soldier (or another) was still manning the same shooting position.
Huwwara Checkpoint 15:25
Checkpoint commander lieutenant X, DCO representative A.
X-ray truck in action, no detainees.
Few pedestrians waiting in line. Two active checking posts.
After 4 p.m. the waiting lines fill up and a third checking post is opened.
The MPwoman's shrieks "Get moving, come on!!!" resonate throughout, constantly.
16:20 - the sniffer-dog and its trainers arrive.
18:30 - as we come back from our visit at Beit Furik Checkpoint (report below), a young man with three toddlers turned to us, appalled, pointing towards the luggage "inspection" area where his young wife is practically fainting at the sight of the dog drooling and pawing the cosmetics products she has just bought in town for her small beauty parlor. The bags are scattered in the dust on the ground, and the dog's snout rummages inside, its legs merrily botching them up. The young man says to us, incredulously: "They don't see us as human beings. Not human. For them we're dogs."
18:40 - the checkpoint is nearly empty, we leave.
Beit Furik Checkpoint 16:45
Few pedestrians, a large number of cars waiting to be checked coming out of Nablus on a single checking lane. The soldiers move very slowly, they're certainly in no hurry. A truck waits for over 20 minutes until it is checked and allowed through.
17:40 - finally a second checking lane is opened for vehicles.
A man in religious garb turns to us, agitated, telling us the soldiers won't allow some guests from Askar refugee camp (a man and three women) to get through for a visit in Beit Furik at the home of a family that celebrated a wedding just yesterday. They did not know such a visit has to be coordinated through the Palestinian DCL/Israeli DCO. We gave them a phone number for the Israeli DCO to try and arrange this.
17:45 - a dramatic detention of a woman holding an Israeli (blue) ID who went with her friend from Beit Furik to Nablus and wanted to get back to the village through this checkpoint. She was detained, fainted apparently from stress, her husband arrived, finally the soldiers let her go after a heavy warning.
In the middle of the drama, as we were standing "where we should" and getting the picture from friends of the couple who were present, a soldier approached us and informed us ceremoniously that if we want "them" to be let through, we better move back. We didn't argue, not wanting to jeopardize the detainees. [at any rate, in spite of all the recent talk about how this procedure is blatantly illegal, it is certainly alive and kicking.]
18:15 - the woman was released and we returned to Huwwara.