Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 31.8.08, Morning

Observers: 
Edna L., Yael B. (reporting)
Aug-31-2008
|
Morning

Translator: Charles K.

7:45 - Za'tara junction

No line of cars from the west.

15 cars coming from Nablus.

8:00 - Beit Furik checkpoint

No cars.

Few pedestrians.

8:10 - Huwwara checkpoint

About 25-30 people on line.

2 lanes open.

8:25

An (Arab) activist from a French N.G.O. who is on line tells us that he showed his membership card to the soldier.  The soldier refused to let him through.  He showed him an additional document, that he said was identical to the first, and then was allowed through.  When he asked the soldier what the difference was, the reply was that if he keeps talking (since that's called being "cheeky" in the jargon of the checkpoints), he won't be allowed to pass.

Even though there's no crowding at the entrance to Nablus, the DCO representative takes the initiative and lets women and old people bypass the checkpoint without going through the turnstile.

9:00

A young man with a backpack is checked at the booth.  His belongings are removed.  After he passed through, he rested the backpack on the security railing in order to put everything back in. 

Soldier:  Get out of here.

Palestinian: Just a minute, I'm just putting things back in the bag.

Soldier (raising his voice):  I told you, get out of here, do it over there.

9:20  A volunteer from the organization of churches with whom we've chatted in the past went through the checkpoint, and in response to our request reported by phone how many people were waiting on line.  He counted 70 (including the fast, "humanitarian" lane) and 4 vehicles.

Meanwhile, another lane was opened.

The DCO representative is active and helpful.

We called the attention of A., the checkpoint commander, to the behavior and the attitude of the soldier ("Get out of here"), and he said that yes, the soldiers come from different backgrounds, "if you know what I mean."