Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 12.6.08, Morning
Translation: Tal H.
06:58 - entry way to Marda village, open, to Zeita village - blocked.
07:07 - Tapuach/Za'tara Junction CP -
About 10 vehicles coming from Huwwara. Soldiers process them quickly. The reservist crew manning the checkpoint are in the car park and talk with us. They say it's their last day for this tour of duty, and that the last day is always tense.
Near the Menorah in the central roundabout stands an army jeep, four soldiers next to it.
A taxi driver arrives, approaches the soldier standing with us and complains that those soldiers confiscated his ID and sent him to wait at the car park claiming he was standing where he shouldn't have. He says he always stops there and doesn't understand what the problem is. Meanwhile another taxi driver joined and the soldier went over to look into the matter. Two minutes later both taxi drivers were released and the jeep left. To our questions about the goings-on, the soldiers reluctantly replied that there was an event last night that raised the alarm of a kidnapping, and following that the soldiers are trying to prevent contact between settlers and Palestinians, that' why the taxi drivers were prevented from standing next to the full settlers' hitchhikers' post. But the soldiers would not go into details about the event. The swift vehicle inspection did not indicate any kind of urgent waning...
07:45 - Huwwara
The taxi park is nearly full. Less than 10 pedestrians waiting to exit Nablus, passing swiftly. Here the CP commander who already knows us tells us what happened last night: two settlers entered a village close to Huwwara, there was a report of a kidnapping that made all the army and police forces in the area jump-start, and in the morning (according to the CP commander) they learned this was a settlers' practical joke, and routine was resumed.
08:25 - during our shift, the pedestrian line shortened. One Palestinian was detained and sent to the cubicle (it was the commander who brought this to our attention, knowing we check this as soon as we arrive). We heard from the detainee that he lives in Nablus and works in a clothes shop in Ramallah, and because his ID appears on the lists he is detained every day, and every day he is released after 15 minutes to two hours.
08:35 - the detainee is released.
09:00 - on our way to leave, a Palestinian approached us for help and shows us documents indicating that his two-year old daughter is ill and needs medical care. He said he was told to turn to the Peres Peace Center. We referred him to Zacharia who would know how to guide him further.
09:10 - Awarta - no vehicles present.
09:20 - Beit Furik CP - all's quiet. Few pedestrians, an occasional vehicle arrives and is allowed through immediately. The CP commander resents our being there.
10:07 - Za'tara/Tapuach Junction CP - 30 vehicles waiting in line coming from Nablus.
10:12 - Marda and Zeita same as before.
10:30 - Shaar Shomron crossing - 2 Palestinians sitting on the side of the checkpoint, apparently 'illegals' who were caught.