Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 5.5.08, Morning
Translation: Suzane ).
There is a police roadblock in both directions and cars are inspected.
The barrier is closed.
Along the whole of the way there are banners "Jewish independence for Chomesh".
There are 40 cars. We did not stop because we were late, we continued on in the direction of Beit Furiq.
In the village of Huwwara there are Israeli flags and posters, put up by the Shomron area municipality, for Independence Day.
There is no queue at all. According to the evidence of the drivers and the roadblock commander the roadblock opened at 5:45 a.m., 45 minutes late, because people from the Braslav sect who had entered Josef's tomb could not leave Nablus. They waited at the roadblock for an alternative vehicle because one of the coaches (out of six) that had brought them there had broken down. The whole event was coordinated with the army and takes place from time to time, about three times a year according to the roadblock commander.
When the roadblock did open, so said the drivers, the vehicles crossed with no inspection so that the jam was eased and the whole queue entered Nablus without hold ups.
While we were present it took 50 seconds for a vehicle to enter and to leave.
There is no queue to enter Nablus, there are three cars at the exit, and it takes about three minutes per car to leave, 30 seconds to enter.
One person is detained for over an hour, he is on the list; he was released when we arrived.
There are about 25 people at the roadblock.
A taxi carrying a pregnant woman is not permitted to cross, even after an argument. The soldiers, talking among themselves, say that this is the third time that a driver tries to cross this way. They note bitterly that I am recording what goes on. The passenger changes to a taxi behind them in the queue and this one is allowed to cross with no inspection of documents...
There is a queue of 17 cars. Only one crossing is open.
The results of the morning's police roadblock: two detainees, one of them an 11 year old boy from Taibeh and his father, have been held since 5 a.m., on the grounds that they had let passengers out of their car without permission before the roadblock.
An older person claimed that at about 6:15 a.m., some 20 people were arrested, beaten and released after three hours. The man's (the 11 year old's father) employer secured their release as we arrived. Attached is a photograph of the man after his encounter with the security forces. Since he is an Israeli citizen our advice to him was to contact the police.