Beit Furik, Huwwara, Thu 28.8.08, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
The junction is almost empty. About four cars coming from the north and being checked by the soldiers, the trunks also. A female MP interrogates two Palestinian women on foot next to the parking lot. We went over to them. The MP said they were in Israel illegally. One lives in Gaza and her husband lives in Ramallah. The women answered the MP's questions and appeared completely at ease. We didn't wait for the interrogation to end.
About 150 Palestinians waiting in the shed. They say that the wait lasts between half an hour to an hour. Three lanes, plus another for women and elderly men. One lane operates only intermittently; we're told it's because the soldiers are changing shifts. Five young detainees in isolation. "They sneaked past the line." G., the checkpoint commander, is communicative and polite, but doesn't stray from the rulebook. One of the detainees is on his way to his engagement party that evening (they all showed us their hands, decorated with henna), but that didn't make anyone work any faster, and he also was stuck on line for more than two hours.
15:55 Beit Furik
Even quieter than usual. Almost no pedestrians, and no cars.
Still a long line of people waiting. Three lanes operating. Soldiers chased two young men who tried to sneak past the line, and caught them. The man who was going to be engaged was released a few minutes later, but now another person going to be engaged was detained. It appears that these young men, hurrying to their engagement parties, aren't able to convince the IDF to change its procedures...
17:10 Za'tara. The junction is almost empty.