Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 25.8.08, Afternoon
Translation: Ruth F.
13:25- Shomron Gate wasn't manned.
We entered the Barkan industrial zone to look for the vineyards. We found out that it has been moved to a new territory by Kibutz Hulda.
14:00- Marda was open, Zeita was closed.
From the west- One vehicle was being inspected. At the north was a line of 17 vehicles.
At the square- a Palestinian car was parked on a towing truck with yellow plats, by it was another car, two men were in it, they said: "everything is fine", and asked that we leave.
The soldiers at the checkpoint weren't too pleased to see us, but the checkpoint commander said: So what, they aren't disturbing you, if worst comes to worse- the police is here, they will take care of them.
14:25- At the entrance to the village Huwwara, right in front of the entrance to Beita was a police jeep with a BP soldier sitting in it.
They signaled transits and cabs to pull over. They order other vehicles to head on. A bus driver was arrests five minutes earlier. This jeep has been functioning as another checkpoint on the way leading from Huwwara to Za'tara for the past couple of days. While speaking to him the JP soldier handed back their IDs.
The soldiers told a transit driver with their speaker, to come and get his IDs and those of his passengers.
Each ID was documented before being handed over to its owner, who was then permitted to head on.
When we arrived the soldiers seemed to be very tense, the lines were in order and the soldiers busy with handing out orders regarding the line- go back, back, back, more, more more.... That made us wonder about what had happened before we came.
This continued during the whole shift.
Six vehicles were waiting at the entrance to Nablus, by the booth for vehicles that are entering A' from the DCO explained to a cab driver that he can't enter to Nablus without a permit.
It was evident during the whole shift the soldiers set for themselves to educate the Palestinians at the vehicle inspection post: "Send him back, he bypassed all the others!", said a sergeant to a soldier. That vehicle was a new Mercedes and the soldier was too embarrassed to send it back. The sergeant on the other hand had no problem.
He told the driver to go back, and we wondered- will he tell him to stand in the corner with is face to the wall or maybe write something down 100 times on the blackboard: "I won't bypass the line ever again".
A soldier yelled at the people in the line. A' shut him up and said: "if you have a problem talking to them, come to me and I'll do it, but don't talk to them like that.
The x-ray machine was working again.
The fast lane on the other hand was block on that day as well. The high fence that had been place there on the week before had been taken down, but instead of it was a plastic blockage ("New Jersey"- that's how they call it) with a metal one as well. They were placed one on top of the other.
Lieutenant Y., presented himself to us and said he was the checkpoint commander, he asked that we stand back (we weren't standing very close as it was), behind the turnstiles. Why? We asked, "because you are getting in the way"- he said assertively- "and there are places here you can be and others where you can't".
Nur politely and assertively told him that there was no law that defines where we can or can't be, and that the only reason we take notice of the line they themselves have painted is because we didn't want to cause any provocations, even though in itself that line wasn't legal.
He got convinced rather quickly and walked away.
"Hay, you, stand back, go, go"- a soldier notified that the place was no sterile.
Nur- "but they want to be in the shad". Another soldier: "why is she butting in?"
The soldier explained to Nur- "you can't go to the cell because someone might get out of there and stab you with a knife, and we would be held responsible". We weren't allowed to stand under the shad because the Palestinians will see us and then "behave badly".
15:20- The turnstile stopped working for 25 minutes. Why? "Because the security guard wasn't there", why wasn't he there?, they wouldn't answer.
We called the Moked and they promised to look into it. When it started working the Palestinians had to go through two inspection- one with a magnometer and the other through a metal detector . Why? Just like that.
15:20- A second lieutenant (blue eyes and tall that wouldn't tell us his name) "asked" that we stand back.
He said: "I'm asking you politely, but there is also another way".
At 15:50 a big police car arrived and the police man talk to the two officers (A': you see what happened because of you, we called the police)
The police man came to talk to us: "Hi, why do I have to make all this way just for you?"
We really couldn't think of a reason so we didn't answer.
After a short chat we went back to the officers and talk to them, then he came back to us and said "okay, you can stay here but don't get in the soldiers way(.....).
He later decided that I was the checkpoint commander, that got us all laughing and as this was my new title he told me to give him my ID and phone number. I refused to give him my number and instead Merav gave him the MachsomWatch card with a phone number printed on the back of it.
A student came to talk to me- he said he live at Qusra (he said it was just after Za'tara) and studies at Anajha. He said: "it's now five days before the Ramadan and things are very bad. The waiting time is of two hours".
He and his friends wonder: "why are you writing? And how are your reports supposed to help us?"
It was very frustrating.
Merav and Hagar headed to Beit Furik and reported back:
The checkpoint was rather empty. One soldier told them to stand behind the white line but they refused. The commander said: "leave them alone, they'll be gone in a minute any way..."
There were few people and no vehicles. The reason: there was a celebration in Nablus for the return of some prisoners.
A 14 year old boy was allowed to enter Nablus without the escort of his parents since he said his father was in Nablus.
17:00 Beita checkpoint was still active. Three vehicles were waiting and two people were being inspected by the BP soldiers.
17:10- Za'tara- ten cars were standing from the north and five from the west.
A manual inspection was preformed to a car arriving from the west: all the windows were opened and all the passengers were inspected.
17:35- The tent by the end of the fence: there were three detainees.