Awarta, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), יום ה' 14.8.08, בוקר
Translation: Suzanne O.
The weather is cool, isn't that a good reason to leave early in the morning for the Nablus roadblocks?
A civilian staffs the eastern roadblock at Sha'ar Shomron; he says he is from the Defence Ministry.
A policeman directs the traffic from Ariel.
The entrance to Marda is open, at Zeita the barrier is in place.
There is no queue from the direction of Ariel and only a few cars from the direction of Huwwara.
Armoured corps reservists staff the roadblock. A bus arriving from Nablus is directed to the car park. We gauge the time of the inspection at 15 minutes until everyone was back in the bus. The passengers complain that they have only just been through a thorough inspection at Huwwara and taxis cross with no inspection at all.
A group of reservists is spread out over the car park: in the shade of the cars coffee is prepared over a calor gas burner, a mattress has been laid out and a backgammon board is open. When we get back they will have been moved somewhere else.
A police van arrives from the direction of Huwwara, goes to Beita Junction and comes back. Later we shall see it on the other side of the town driving around in the opposite direction.
There is no activity.
There are few cars at the entrance to the town. There are few pedestrians at the exit.
There are no detainees. There is a dog handler, an x-ray machine and a DCO representative. The commander, A., asks the soldiers not to talk to us. I tell him about the film on Channel 7 and he says that no way can women wander about the area of his roadblock.
The odd car crosses to and from Nablus, at the back-to-back second hand tyres are moved from one lorry to another.
On the Madison road one jeep is parked opposite Itamar and another one opposite the entrance to Beit Furiq. According to the soldiers they are trying to catch ‘stragglers' using the holy Madison road. They are unable to explain why Palestinians are not allowed to use the road.
There are no cars queuing to enter the town and only a few pedestrians. Wonder of wonders: two inspection lanes are open for vehicles entering and leaving.
The tea stall is deserted: no queue - no customers. We buy punnets of figs from the adjacent grove.
Back at Huwwara
There was a queue of cars at the entrance to the town and the new DCO representative, A (Adam), is pulled over to help the soldier and he gets the cars across rapidly. A Polish student in a car with yellow number plates wants to enter the town. The soldier warns him that he crosses at his own risk; he crosses.
In the new car park opposite the entrance to Beita there are two jeeps and the officers are talking on the phone. We did not manage to find out what they were waiting for.
There are no queues.
At Sha'ar Shomron the traffic is light, there is no roadblock at the entrance to the territories.