Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 30.6.08, Afternoon
11.30 Shaar Shomron. We entered Palestine.
At Za'tara (Tapuach)
11 cars in both directions and a bus which went on its way after the checking
12.00 Beit Furik.
4 cars in both directions and few pedestrians whose IDs were checked and the passage was swift. The commander says that the checkpoint belongs to him and we are forbidden to stand here. He asked to see the letter of the army advocate which we showed him.
12.35 Huwwara, I
n the isolation was a young man, a policeman who had been there an hour already. His eye was bandaged as he had been returning after an operation in the clinic in Nablus. He said that he had been in the Israeli jail for 6 months and had been freed lately. He said that he was always detained and that the soldiers said he was "bingo". The details are not complete as while we were speaking to him the soldiers stopped us saying that it was forbidden that we should speak to a detained Palestinian. They had not given him water and when we did so absolutely fell on the bottle which we offered him. We phoned G. at the army centre and after a few moments she got back to us and said she had sent a representative of the DCO. The DCO arrived and soon the young man was on his way home. We phoned the centre and asked them to inform the checkpoint at Za'tara not to stop him again. When we spoke to him later he said that the checking there had been random and he had not been stopped and would get home today.
When we arrived the commander, I. fell on us and said that we were not allowed to stand at the turnstiles which are opposite the shed which was once the "jorra". We refused to go and said he should check with the brigade. He did not come back and we stood where we wanted.
The checkpoint has three checking areas for men. There were only a few young men today and most of the traffic was that of women, children and older men. Some were sent to have their bags checked by the x-ray device at the other side of the checkpoint. The young men show IDs and go through the x-ray device but this is an unstable device and sometimes they have to take off belts and sometimes shoes. IN any case if there are metal detectors why do they have to do this. One of the women soldiers shouts to a young man to lift his shirt higher than the stomach and the chest and he does so again. But this does not satisfy her and he has to do it again. He passes us cursing. The checking is carried out with loud shouts. The ID numbers are called in loud voice and of course "Backwards all. All. All. Backwards, backwards. By my penis go back." Men wait half an hour to an hour depending on the queue they are in and their luck.
Car lane. Few cars entering Nablus and IDs and licenses are checked and the passage is swift. Not as many cars as usual at the exit. Passengers alight, the driver goes to the checkpoint and the passengers go by foot. The car is checked and bags sent to the x-ray machine and after their IDs are checked and they are checked physically they are allowed on their way. Here also the taxi driver has to take off his shoes. The check takes 2-3 minutes but this does not take into consideration the traffic jam before the checking area which we have no way of estimating.
4 Israeli Palestinians are stopped on their way out of Nablus and the civilian police are summoned. They said they did not know that they were not allowed in. One is freed almost immediately, one taken in the police car and two others are allowed on their way after 40 minutes.
14.10 An old woman comes out of the side line and has great difficulty walking. The long wait in the crowded line and on such a hot day has practically broken her. Her daughter has brought a chair from the home. It is not every day she goes to Nablus. But today she has to go to the doctor. A man whom they met at the checkpoint is helping them. We offered cold water which was accepted gratefully. She says to me "Photograph me and show it to all. That all should know what they are doing to us. We did so.
14,30 Za'tara 7 cars in both directions.