Beit Furik, Huwwara, Sha`ar Shomron (Qasem), Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 27.7.08, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
Five detainees at Shomron Gate. Many police.
Za'tara: 10 vehicles on line in each direction - north and west.
A detainee in isolation. He says he's already been there three hours. He was released from prison a week ago, and is now clean. According to the soldiers, he badly beat one of the Palestinians waiting on line, more than the usual fight.
The checkpoint is crowded. More officers and soldiers than usual. An additional line for women was opened off to one side.
The X-ray machine isn't operating. Examining the hand luggage greatly delays the lengthening line.
16:15 The dog handler arrives.
16:30 A jeep brings a handcuffed youth who's put in isolation.
Three soldiers, in turn, introduce themselves as the checkpoint commander and demand that we don't go even one centimeter past the blue line. "When I'm here everyone stays behind the line - Now!," says one of them, and the second thinks that a woman old enough to be his grandmother should understand that she belongs behind the line. The third hurries to threaten that he'll call the police.
A family is waiting three hours for a cousin.
The first detainee is released.
People continue passing through the line, with variations in the search ceremony. Remove the belt, shake the shoes that have been removed. One of the soldiers is particularly good at arranging the people in straight lines by continuously bellowing at and scolding them.
The soldiers stop a man from Belgium who was photographing at the checkpoint, and erase all the photos. And look through his belongings.
A 20-year-old from Awarta is stopped by a patrol and brought to the isolation pen in handcuffs. There's a bottle of water in the pen, but he isn't able to drink.
A young woman in a wheelchair, accompanied by a member of her family, requests to enter Nablus not via the turnstile, which of course necessitates an investigation and a careful examination of the ID card.
A really suspicious request.
17:30 Long lines. People are frustrated and bitter when they emerge. The detainee is still in isolation, handcuffed.
We drove to Beit Furik.
En route to Beit Furik we pass dozens of settler youths; god knows why they showed up. They crowd around the entrance to the regional council and on the way back we see them marching toward Yitamar.
The Awarta road is blocked until they pass, and military vehicles accompany them the whole way.
4 cars waiting to enter Nablus.
About 15 cars reported to be waiting to enter Beit Furik, waiting about half an hour.
Many pedestrians, as usual. They pass through in a few minutes.
18:20 Back at Huwwara.
The detainee has been released.
Only one lane is operating, in addition to the one off to the side. The line stretches to the end of the shed. The magnemometer beeps, and the soldier "is certain that each person carries a knife and intends to stab us," threatens and yells at everyone, teaching and punishing them.
The checks, that in any event are slow, are stopped repeatedly whenever the soldier decides to make the line organized: "First you in the orange, then the red, then you."
Again and again he organizes the line, not resting for a minute, except that the line keeps getting longer.
19:00 We left. The warrior remains a warrior, the dog handler continues "dogging" the cars, and the lines reach all the way to the end of the shed. At least it isn't hot today.
On the signs at Za'tara: "We're continuing to settle and to build."