Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 20.7.08, Afternoon
Translation: Tal H.
15:05 - Tapuach Zaatara Junction Checkpoint - empty
15:15 Huwwara Checkpoint
Checkpoint Commander D., DCO representative T., active x-ray truck,
3 active checking posts
As we arrive, vendors tell us that "today's good"...
A MPwoman patiently and quietly explains to a Palestinian: "So take this and go. Go on. Scram." (sic)
A securing soldier stands by the checking post, his rifle barrel sticking into the middle of the passage so that each Palestinian done with the check must collide with the weapon. The commander approaches to say hello and listens to my plaint about the impossible passage between the rifle and the post, promises to look into it.
A MPwoman approaches us and says that our Beit Iba shift has written lies about her, that she had humiliated Arabs. "I never humiliate Arabs. Never." I ask her what she considers humiliation, and she then recalls that "I mustn't talk to you, but just so you know I was hurt."
The special sideline for women and the elderly moves relatively fast.
16:00 Sniffer dog and trainer arrives
Beit Furik 16:40
The checkpoint is empty of vehicles, just a thin trickle of pedestrians arrives.
Still, a young woman carrying a baby in her arms and with 3 toddlers at her side wants to enter Nablus and has to watch her little ones get caught in the turnstile that is locked shut with them inside, for a moment that for her must have felt like an eternity. Until the woman soldier at the checking post remembered to free them and let the mother and baby through as well.
Abu Salah's shaded coffee and tea stand at the taxi park is becoming more pleasant from week to week and we enjoy a sip of sage tea and some lovely conversation with him and his friends.
17:30 Upon our return from Beit Furik, we see the soldiers suddenly breaking into a mad run, pointing their rifles at a clump of bushes on the outside of the compound, and yelling hoarsely: "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!..." as well as "One terrorist hurt!"
"I am coming around the left!"...
What a show. Both we and the Palestinians laughed at the mayhem and the fact that at least we were not being pushed back and out of the way in dead earnestness. Still people had to wait for some minutes.
In short - the "rooster" maneuver routine. 10 minutes later, the commander called everyone to resume ordinary checking routine.
Ecumenical Accompaniers of the Yanoun Team also watched the battle show and we had a chance to exchange notes...
All laughing aside, this absurd theater too has become a routine part of the monster called the apparatus of denying the Palestinians their freedom of movement in their own land.
We left at 18:00.