Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 30.7.08, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
7:25 Za'tara/Tapuah junction:
The soldiers stopped five passengers in a small car to be checked. It turns out they're from Marda, and driving to work in Ramallah. One of them forgot his ID card. We asked the soldiers what's happening. They answer politely. The soldier even apologizes and explains that that's the procedure: moving around without an ID card is forbidden, and everyone knows this. They all sit quietly in the car, waiting. One of them, who looks dignified, and holding prayer beads in his hand, explains to us in English what happened. He's quietly angry, and says: How will there ever be peace so long as this continues? This is what leads people to do things... It turns out that the cousin of the man lacking the ID will bring it from the village.
When he arrived, at 7:55, the car continues on its way.
Only a few cars are waiting at the checkpoing.
Few pedestrians. We didn't see the checkpoint commander or the DCO representative. One of the soldiers tells us to move back to the blue line. I obey. When our guest tries to take a photograph, the soldiers begin shouting and threatening: if you photograph, we'll close the checkpoint. We explain that we're not photographing soldiers.
Two lanes open, and a humanitarian lane.
8:55 Beit Furik:
As usual, few people going through. A taxi driver stands on the side next to his vehicle. He's been detained. He was caught driving on Medison Rd. which is for Israeis only. He tells us that he's from Jericho, and got on this road without having been aware that Palestinians are forbidden to drive on it, and was caught. He was sorry, and apologized, but to no avail. The soldiers told him that he was being detained as punishment. He said he's already been detained for an hour or two. He calls our attention to the fact that there's no sign at the beginning of the road that forbids Palestinians to drive on it. (He's right. We checked later.) And anyway: He has a heart condition and has to take his medicine.
We contact the humanitarian center. They ask us for his ID number. After a few minutes we call again.
The answer: If he's already been detained for two hours, he has to wait another hour. In a case like his, driving on a road "for Jews only" is three hours detention. We quote her: "It's a sterile area."
There's nothing to say. The IDF is the champion of newspeak. There's nothing more that can be done to help the man. He accepts the judgment with resignation.
10:00 Back at Huwwara.
Everything is quiet. A youth who forgot two rings at the checking booth asks for our help. We talk to the soldiers and they immediately hand over the two rings.