Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 16.6.08, Afternoon
13.50 Shaar Shomron. We entered Palestine.
14.10 4 reservists stand on the two sides of the road about half a kilometer after Zeita and two kilometers before Za'tara. They say that this is a classified exercise. About 5 minutes away from there are two Hummers and regular soldiers.
At Za'tara/Tapuach are 6 cars in either direction. The dog is lying in the shade and not working because of the heat. The commander also says that there is an exercise today. Two soldiers who are checking cars do not stop us.
In the isolation cell is a young man who tried to bypass the long line. The commander says that because of this he had to be in isolation. An old man has great difficulty walking and three relatives help him into a taxi which will take him to the checkpoint.
14.50 Beit Furik.
The checkpoint is almost empty and some people standing behind the turnstiles begin to move as we arrive. There are also few soldiers. The soldiers crowd around us including a new soldier who does not know us and the veterans tell him not to speak to us. The commander tells us to move back. We point to the flags of the women in blue and white, the military policeman has a little flag on her helmet and ask why they are not sent away. He says that there is a difference because we bother them. The new soldier says "In what way are they bothering us. They are not bothering me."
Now there are two more men in the isolation who have also tried to bypass. I. the commander insists that they be punished for three hours otherwise it will pay them in the future to try to bypass. He insists on explaining to us that had they been the conquerors they would have thrown us into the sea. The centre says that he is allowed to keep them for three hours.
There are three checking posts for the men and the line is long and crowded. They pass through the x-ray device and then stop to put their belts on. Some take their belongings to the x-ray truck at the side of the checkpoint. There was no DCO representative at any time. Until just after 4.00 there was great pressure but after that the checkpoint almost completely emptied out.
At the entrance to Nablus cars were checked for IDs and permits but the passage was swift. At the exit cars went through with the usual checking with passengers alighting, checking their baggage and then going on their way. Cars take 2- 5 minutes depending on how many passengers there are. A loaded van takes 7 minutes besides the waiting to get to the checking area.
At the entrance to Nablus is a sign which says 'Thank you to Machsomwatch for their help, terrorist movements organization".
The soldiers say that the sign was hung by the women in blue and white, their flags are also hung there. We asked how it is that army property can be used for slogans of a rightist organization which is against the law and why we are sent back when there is no legal reason for this and we are doing nothing against the law.
17.10 Zatara. 21 cars. And at the entrance to Shaar Shomron are some Palestinian women.