Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 18.8.08, Afternoon

Observers: 
Attar (a guest photographer), Nur B. and Noa P. - reporting
18/08/2008
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Afternoon
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Translation: Hanna K.

14:00: Samaria Gate:
Police presence is reinforced, probably this is connected with the triangular warning signposts on the road - be careful, accident. A few trucks loaded with containers are waiting on the eastern side of the gate. There are no detaineesinfo-icon.

14:15: Marda: The two gatesinfo-icon are open. Zeita-Jama'in - closed.

14:20 Za'tara:
There are two cars coming from the west waiting to be checked.
From the north there are 17.
The "menora" watchman is posted at his position in the center of the square.
There are no detained cars at the CP itself.
Near the entrance fo Beita a military-police/regular police jeep drives slowly, almost on the margins.

14:30 Huwwara:
Two elderly ladies and a man stand next to the entering-vehicles checking-stand. They look desperate. It transpires that their belongings are waiting in the cart to be checked and let through, and until this happens - they are waiting. The X-ray vehicles is not here, which slows down the checking process even more.
The queue goes up to the end of the shed, threee turnstiles are active, the passage which, until a few weeks ago, served the rapid queue - has been entirely blocked by a high fence. Second lieutenant B., the CP Commander asks that we turn to him with any matter, or that we ask the soldiers to call him, and that we shouldn't cross the white line...
14:40: - A vehicle marked with the TV sign in which there are five passengers, three of which are Israeli Arabs, leaves Nablus and is detained until the arrival of the blue police. They entered Nablus without the proper authorizations. When we returned from Beit Furik, two hours later - they were still waiting there.
At the parking lot a young man meets us, he says - today the soldiers shot at a young man who was walking in the fields of Awarta and told him to go to the Huwwara CP. The young man  was present at the event but could not supply too many details.

At Beit Furik we met Muhamed, the olive vendor from the Awarta CP and he supplied some supplementary details: The young man tried to walk by way of the fields, the soldiers shot at him. He didn't know whether the young man was hurt. The event took place around 12:00 at noon.

14:55 Beit Furik

Second Lieutenant  Y. is the CP commander.
He turns to us and asks us to move back. When we didn't comply he ordered: "stop the checking. We phoned the center.
At the entrance turnstile five men are waiting. At the exit from Nablus about 30 people.
Cars - as far as we could make out there were five cars waiting to cross over in the direction of Beit Furik. On the access road to the CP one car is waiting to get out.

A military policewoman: Y., Stop the checking, I'm not letting anybody pass. What's the problem, don't be such a "bleeding heart" do your work, summon the police for these women". Everything said in a screeching voice which we could well hear.
A soldier: "All went well until you arrived".
A phone call to the battalion commander didn't reach him in person, only his answering service. He came back to me after a short moment and promised to take care of the matter immediately.
Five minutes later only those people who arrived before us were allowed to pass in the direction of Nablus, that's to say three. After that the queue stopped again.
The CP commander orders that the CP be reopenend, after he called his commander who ordered him unequivocally to do so. The military-policewoman objects. He tries to convince her to swallow her pride: "The brigade commander is on his way here" says the commander Y.
This doesn't impress her - let him come, she shrugs her shoulders. Let him see how they do here whatever enters their minds.
A military-policeman: I have a list in my hand, and I don't want him to photograph it. I don't know what he photographs and what he doesn't (points at Attar) but this is a confidential list which nobody is entitled to see. Therefore, until the photographing is stopped the CP will not be opened.
Nur says to the CP commander: you are acting against the law, and I shall submit a complaint against you.
We explained to the soldiers that our presence at the CP cannot be considered pretext for closing it for the Palestinians, that they have no right to punish the local population because of what we do.
The military police-woman: "Darling, it's you who is punishing them, not me". And one of the soldiers: "look at that, she acts like the minister for justice, that one".
15:05: A hammer arrives, unloads hot food, and the commander consults with them. The driver of the hammer says: Why do you fret, order the police for them and that's it. Y.: They don't answer...
Y. the commander comes up to us and tries to negotiate a compromise: stop taking photographs and I shall open the CP.
The Hammer drives off and the CP is opened - in spite of our continuous presence.
A captain, a company commander arrives.
He goes up to the soldiers and talks to Y. the commander. A few minutes later he comes to us to talk to us. His name is A.
He says: We recognize the white line as the limit behind which the different civil rights organizations - women in green, women blue white, machsomwatch, you name it - are allowed to stand. If you want to help us - stand there. If you insist on standing here - I have no problem with this.
The checking of the cars is carried out quite quickly.
The checking of the pedestrians, on the other hand, is performed much more meticulously, each bag is checked, and each document is detained in the hands of the military policewoman. Her language becomes coarser and her voice louder: " Lawara, lawara I said, what, what? Step back I told you, don't you understand what one says to you??? Ouachad, ouachad!"
The military policewoman probably feels she lost the battle. She is angry. Her behavior towards the Palestinians becomes louder and louder, and the checking lasts much longer.
In a conversation with captain A. she sounds thus: you there, you don't come here to teach me what to do, do you hear? I'm hear a year and three months, you come and go all the time and change, I know what has to be done, and those must stand where I told them. I tell the person to go out, and she shouldn't talk back to me, fuck her.
Even the military policeman comes and makes a comment to her about the way she talks to the people in the queue. She: "what, yallah, yallah is against the law???If those ones would be here they would dare open their mouths at all."
15:40:  An elderly woman, leaning on a younger one, skirts the queue. Y. the commander checks their papers and lets them go on.
Half the shed is full. The military policewoman is in charge of the persons leaving Nablus, and she has time, she has no interest in working...
At the upper parking lot they tell the following story:
A 23 year old young man from Beit Furik, probably with an organic/mental problem ("special education" is the term they use) threw last Friday stones on a vehicle of a settler, just opposite the CP. The settler descended and hit the lad. The soldiers came and separated them and took the young man. Since then the family tries to find out what happened to him and where he is. The father talked to A. from the DCO who said the young man was taken to hospital. We took all his details to investigate further.
In a telephone conversation with A. from the DCO it transpired that the young man was returned on Monday evening to his home. He was released at the Huwwara CP.

16:20: Huwwara
Women are waiting at the passage for their mates to come out from the men's queue.
A taxi is being checked - we measured six minutes for the checking.
The TV vehicle is still detained there.
The men in the queue take off their belts and then put them on again as is customary.
Attar has a suggestion to make the process more efficient: just be clever and stop put on belts which detain them for no purpose.
A CP fashion is in the make here.

17:20 Za'tara:
15 cars coming from the north, 7 coming from the west are waiting.