Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 7.9.08, Afternoon
Translation: Tal H.
Tapuach-Zaatara Junction Checkpoint 15:00
Empty of cars in all directions.
Huwwara Checkpoint 15:10
Checkpoint commander - Lieutenant Emek, DCO representative - Tarek.
3 active checking posts, active x-ray truck.
Such crass, hostile and aggressive tones resounding from soldiers to Palestinians - we have not met here for quite a while, with the commander as their ongoing source of inspiration.
Upon our arrival, 3 detainees for trying to pass a car-engine part outside the checkpoint. This is prohibited by the army. They tried to bypass the CP and were caught. Two are released but without the part. To Noa's question about the fate of this part which they need quite urgently, the Checkpoint commander answers: "Save your questions for Passover".
An elegantly-dressed elderly man tells us that he always crosses the checkpoint in the special sideline for women and elderly persons, but today the soldiers checking his ID detected a Machsomwatch calling card... and therefore sent him to stand in the younger male pedestrian waiting lines...
The commander and his soldiers in like manner, chase away any Palestinian daring to stand in the shade of the sheds after exiting the checks or in the shaded former detainee pen, with loud, gruff shouts of "Get out of here, go on!!", incessantly.
Two Palestinian policemen have a problem: Their driver is being detained in the concrete hold as a "wanted" man. They explain he was released from Israeli prison two months ago and ever since, every time he approaches a checkpoint, his name comes up in the wanted men list. The DCO representative claims this must be arranged between the Palestinian and Israeli DCOs, there is nothing to do but wait.
16:10 - one of the three detainees (with the car part) is still in the hold.
A soldier tries to chase Noa away from the observation point across from the vehicle checking post. The commander arrives and joins in the fun:
Noa: "I am not disturbing you."
Commander: "You disturb me by being here."
Noa: "So, shall I vanish? I've been standing here for five years now."
Commander: "Go ahead and live here in a trailer."
Beit Furik Checkpoint 16:40
Rapidly moving pedestrian checks, 5-6 cars waiting in line to exit Nablus.
The soldiers do not acknowledge our presence, conveniently for us.
The taxi drivers inform us that no relief is felt regarding family visits to their village during Ramadan - the usual restrictions are all enforced.
17:30 Returning from Beit Furik, we still hear the same crass shouts throughout the checkpoint compound; the detainees are gone, turnstile lines nearly empty.
18:15 - Tapuach Za'tara Junction checkpoint:
40 cars waiting to continue south bound, 15 north bound, even west bound traffic is being checked.
At the exit from the territories, Shaar Shomron Checkpoint - 6 detainees with their back to the traffic. We call the army hotline to request speeding up their release.