Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 10.8.08, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
DCO representative: T. Commander: a Golani officer
15:00 No line at Za'tara. No checkpoint at Burin/Yitzhar.
Long lines. 4 youths in isolation. They were caught 15 minutes ago trying to sneak through the hills. Their from Jenin and Beit Iba. They're only being detained to check their documents (according to the checkpoint commander).
People complain about having to wait on line for an hour. It's very crowded. The x-ray truck is still out of order. The contents of bags and sacks are checked at the booths.
16:10 The dog handler arrives. It's still hot.
The officer chases away people who are waiting in the shady portion of the plaza, calling out "Yalla," and waving his hands. "Please" isn't part of the checkpoint lexicon.
The lines are still long. The women's line is also particularly long.
It takes 5-6 minutes to check a car, and there are about 10 cars on line (leaving Nablus) - in other words, about an hour wait.
16:35 No cars at the checkpoint. Few pedestrians.
A soldier comes over to find out who we are, and what we're doing here. When we explain that we're there to protest the existence of the checkpoint he's amazed - the checkpoint is there to defend the country. He wasn't able to recover from our fallacious arguments, and the stunned look on his face doesn't change when his friend comes over to tell him that we're not worth talking to.
We twice watched the dog handler working, the dog sniffing and dripping saliva. Even though there's not a lot of work, the dog handler is rude and jumpy. "Go," she bays at a man standing in front of her, and doesn't release the turnstile in which a mother and baby are trapped. Indifference to the feelings of others, to ignore someone standing right in front of you as if he were transparent as air and did not exist, even if only for a short time, and to keep chatting with another soldier should serve as a clear warning signal.
We have to drink coffee and hear what's happening to Abu Salah in the area. The situation was unreal.
17:40 Back in Huwwara from Beit Furik.
The detainees were already released. There are still lines.
The soldiers seem exhausted. If, previously, the inspections were conducted relatively slowly, but quietly and in a businesslike manner, the soldiers are now joking among themselves, yelling at the Palestinians, and the inspections are being carried out so precisely that it's insulting. And we recall that it's the Ninth of Ab, the day the Temple was destroyed, and we're witnessing the destruction of all standards of morality and honor which are the basis of a healthy society.
18:00 We left when the checkpoint commander opened a fast lane and a flow of women flooded the checkpoint.