Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 23.7.08, Afternoon
Translation: Ruth F.
A long line, at one point there were two lines with 23 cars and trucks. Vehicles were waiting by the exit to Nablus. In spite of that the pace was reasonable.
14:20- Huwwara checkpoint-
Cab drivers came to us asking why the passage at Za'tara was so slow during the morning; they had to wait there for over an hour.
There were no detainees at the checkpoint and no one had been arrested at the inspection posts. The shed was filled with people waiting for their inspection. Three inspection posts were active, but they all functioned very slowly, from time to time there were only two that were manned. The soldiers ignored us completely and a part for one time, they said nothing when we passed "the blue line", and that did happen a lot during this shift as we were trying to talk to the DCO representative who was most of the time by the entrance to the "humanitarian post".
The average waiting time we made out according to a couple of people was between 35 to 45 minutes.
The line of women, children and elders was crowded but it moved quickly, so after passing all that was left for them was to wait for their escorting men on the other side.
Few vehicles were entering Nablus, they didn't have to wait. The passage from Nablus was also quick, there were no buses and we didn't see luggage being inspected at the x-ray machine.
14:45- A young man came to us asking that we help his friend who had a Jordanian passport. He was being detained. He became very impatient, in contrast to his friend who was simply waiting that everything be cleared out. I approached the soldiers and eventually managed to talk to the DCO representative, I learned that they were simply checking his documents and that there was nothing else. I tried calming the man down, he had someone translate what I was saying to him. After a couple of minutes "the Jordanian" passed.
15:00- A women with a form requesting a permit to escort an invalid into Jerusalem, didn't understand to whom she was supposed to hand it. We called the DCO representative again and after a while he came unwillingly and explained to her what she had to do, she headed on her way with a taxi.
15:10- A group of women and children, all one family and some of them were visiting from the USA, was passing. We suggested that they stay with us by the shed used by the men. We had a short conversation with them. One soldier asked then to leave the shed but Sara insisted that they stay because of the heat.
15:25- Two young men who were a bit frightened arrived, their friend was taken into the inspection room. We tried finding out what was going on with him, but the soldier from the military police, who was guarding the locked room (from what?) wouldn't let us in to see him. He eventually said that he was taken for investigation. This caused an almost complete stop in the inspection of the others at the checkpoint.
We tried contacting the DCO representative for quite a while and when he finally came to give us some answeres his officer arrived, who very politely explained to us that there was a problem with his ID number and that rather frequently they arrest people who had been in jail ten year before hand, he was trying to get these people of the list. The person that was arrested had been asked several times to go to the DCO and get his information sorted out, but didn't do so. He was quickly discharged. The soldiers that were there were new so everything was working slowly.
15:50- Beit Furik-
About 12 vehicles were waiting from Nablus. The inspection as usual was being preformed in one lane. There were 5 vehicles waiting from Beit Furik.
The inspection of pedestrians was being preformed under the shed. No one was entering and very few were exiting, they had to wait for only several minutes.
A line of 43 vehicles. Nava help us and informed the DCO. O. said that strict inspections were being performed because of information they had about possible terrorist attacks.