Awarta, Beit Furik, Za'tara (Tapuah), יום ג' 8.7.08, בוקר
Translation: Suzanne O.
The barrier is closed.
There is a queue of 29 cars. We did not stop.
There are four cars in the queue. One crossing is open in both directions; it takes about a minute for a car to cross at the entrance to Nablus.
There are two detainees. They ‘trickled' - they drove on the apartheid road in the direction of Huwwara. When we arrived they had already been detained for two hours and, according to the polite roadblock commander, Y., they still have an hour remaining. We were not allowed to approach them and particularly not to point out (and here I point out) that they were not permitted to take the cards with the MachsomWatch telephone numbers. Therefore we are unable to say if they were indeed released an hour later.
I asked the commander if this was a punishment and he confirmed it was, when I asked him if he knows that it is illegal to punish them this way he claimed that he was not doing it just for the sake of doing it, they too had done something they were not allowed to do and he has his orders...
In his defence it must be said that he really was polite, including an attempt (which succeeded) to mediate between us and a rather het up female soldier who informed us sharply that she would close the roadblock if Yehudit kept on using her camera - she was frightened of being photographed.
Meanwhile one of the Palestinians told us that the army had entered Nablus during the night and taken over a commercial building, including the shopping area (market?) claiming that the building belongs to Hamas. Anyone entering the building over the next two years will be imprisoned for five years. Some of the merchandise was left in the building.
There is no queue to enter Nablus and there is one car at the exit. There is one back to back.
There are about 12 people at the roadblock. We left at 9:25 a.m. without witnessing any particular incidents.
There are six cars and one bus being inspected. We did not stop.