Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sat 9.8.08, Morning

guests Anna (photographer) and Theresa (violinist), Hanna B. reporting

Translation: Hanna K.

Again, as every Saturday, we leave the sleeping city in the darkness of the night, to go to the heart of the West Bank. Some Jerusalemites spend the morning doing their weekly sports activity, they look at us in amazement and some even ask whereto we are headed. "To Huwwara" we reply. "Where is that?" "In the occupied territories!" "Ah, you are from those leftists who want to destroy the country!"

And thus a morning of Checkpoints opens - and there is no political solution to be seen, only aggression and more aggression and aggression again.

We left Jerusalem at 06:00.

Za'tara: 06:45 - In the south there are about 40 cars. In the east - none.
At the parking area a thorough checking of two cars takes place. The belongings are, as usual, on the floor, and the soldiers who is performing the checking points his weapon to the Palestinian who kneels at his feet. Perhaps as a result of our complaint to the "humanitarian" center suddenly a rapid movement begins and in a few moments the queue is completed.
One of the guests asked in amazement whether this checking creates a more secure Israel, or whether it just creates frustration - it's good that strangers understand what we ourselves have learned many years ago. When will "the people of Israel" understand this too? 

Huwwara: 07:45 -
The queues are not especially long - so why does it take an hour to an hour and a quarter to pass? One detainee  was released after our intervention. T., the man from the DCO to whom we complained after the release of the man (before that he hid, probably at the "humanitarian point" (where we were promised that they would store Materna, diapers and medical equipment to alleviate the suffering to the sick people and the breast-feeding mothers in passage - do you remember?) lifted his shoulders in a gesture implying complete disinterest. "What can one do, one has to maintain the security". The detainee did not understand how his detention maintained the security every day. We took his ID number and shall do our utmost to take him off the honorary rank of "bingo".
An elderly man who has difficulty walking and who uses a walking cane, tries to pass at the car passage. The soldier who "guards the order" will under no circumstances agree to endanger the world and let the old man pass. B., the CP commander too has difficulty in complying with the request. Only a cynical  remark from us makes it possible for the old man to enter a taxi passing on its way to Nablus, and to our relief the security is still maintained and "you sleep quietly in Jerusalem, because I am here".
There is no girl dog trainer.
The passage of cars from Nablus southwards is very very slow. Another complaint does not speed it up.
We arranged to meet H. who had worked for years in Israel, and when his employer from Taybe went bankrupt he remained without a work permit. Having no other alternative he tried his luck with another kind of work, and was caught as a person staying in the country without permission. Now he has the status of an illegal person . All this bureaucracy is a little beyond his comprehension. After all he committed no criminal or illegal act - he just tried to find a livelihood for his big family. He did of course sign a form that was put before him - in Hebrew which he does not read. "I signed just in order to get home".
One other person out of many thousands who are in a similar predicament!

Beit Furik: 
09:45 An empty CP and bored soldiers. The taxi drivers tell us that this is the situation lately. We pondered the fact that instead of protesting against the very existence of the CP and the closureinfo-icon on the villages in the neighborhood "everybody" is grateful that everything "proceeds smoothly". The shepherds and the herd were "on the right side" of the CP - and the soldiers had no opportunity for "action".

Huwwara: 11:00 - everything is almost desolate. The heat oppresses, certainly not us only. There is some progress in the building of a new CP.  Madness rejoices!
The parking lot is very full. But only very few food selling stalls remain. In the meantime there still are porters around but it seems that they too will disappear when the "humanitarian CP" will be opened.
We left at 11:45