Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 3.7.08, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
6:15 No police presence at Shomron Gate East.
Traffic flows freely from Ariel but the police officer isn't standing in the middle of the intersection.
The entrance to Marda is open; the roadblock at Zeita is standing.
6:30 Za'tara/Tapuach intersection:
Two cars being checked from the west and very few from the direction of Huwwara.
Air Force reservists are still manning the checkpoint, but representatives of the company that will replace them are already on site. A bus from Nablus is sent to the parking area. According to our timing it took 12 minutes for everyone to be back on the bus. The passengers complain about the delay after having already been checked at Huwwara. They say they're all government workers in a hurry to get to their jobs in Ramallah. The commander said that if he'd know we were timing them, they'd work faster... He promises to improve things.
No activity at Beita intersection.
Few cars. Traffic flows freely. The DCO representative is present. There's a magnomometer and no dog handler. The checkpoint commander was on a break, but there were no problems.
7:30 Awarta: few cars.
7:45 Beit Furik
17 cars on line to enter the town and their number continually increases; few pedestrians.
An additional group of soldiers are present, on a tour. Their commander says they can't stay and help open another lane. It's against regulations.
A number of soldiers tell us that the Beit Furik checkpoint is intended to prevent Palestinians from traveling on the Madison road! When we suggest that's a result of the occupation one of the soldiers is shocked by our use of that terrible word.
8:30 Back to Huwwara. Nothing new.
Prosperity in the town of Huwwara - two new stores opened selling baklava. Probably to meet the demand of tour groups.
9:00 Za'tara/Tapuach intersection:
About 40 cars waiting from the direction of Huwwara. According to the commander, he was busy explaining the sector to his replacements, and now he acts quickly to reduce the crowding.