Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 1.9.08, Morning
Translator: Charles k.
Za'tara/Tapuah junction - the occupation continues as usual.
8:10 Beit Furik -
Dozens of people going from Beit Furik to Nablus. The soldiers are wearing wide camouflage helmets, like those familiar to us (on television and in the movies) from ambushes in Lebanon.
Occasionally separate lanes are open for men and women.
The women are dressed in their finery. Because Ramadan has begun?
8:40 Awarta - Trucks entering Nablus.
8:50 Huwwara checkpoint -
A thin lad of 16 (looks to me about 13, but the soldiers say he's 16) is caught holding a large knife. The soldiers started yelling at him, and running with weapons drawn and cocked. After a few seconds they handcuffed him. The soldier who appeared to be the shift commander shows us the knife. Its blade is impressive. That's all he was carrying. No bag nor anything else. Strange. The soldiers are very excited and enthusiastic, and put him in the cell. The checkpoint is closed to vehicles and to pedestrians in both directions.
8:58 The checkpoint reopens.
9:00 An army jeep arrives.
We ask ourselves: Why didn't the youth run, attack, stab someone before he was arrested? And why didn't he hide the knife?
An ambulance stops on its way from Huwwara to Nablus. The soldiers order it to return, because "he doesn't have a physician's ID."
9:15 Two more youths are arrested. The soldiers say their names are on the "wanted" list. They stand in the shade of the wall of the detention area, leaning against it, facing the security wall in front of them. They're forbidden to move. They're forbidden to sit or walk around. Nor do they have anywhere to go.
9:30 All the young men put their belts back on after being carefully checked. Older men, and women, pass through without that.
The two detainees are still standing with their backs to the wall of the detention area. Close to each other. They have no room to sit down.
A young man stops next to us as he buckles his belt. He asks, in English, where we're from. From Tel Aviv, we reply. Are there checkpoints there? (No, but there will be...).
9:40 An armed policeman arrives in a police vehicle, and a white jeep belonging to the Civil Administration arrives soon after it. A captain from the village of Yanuah chats with us, and in response to our question about the two detainees (they don't have any connection to the boy with the knife) he says, "I recommend they be released." Why were they detained? "Because they were on the lists." Why release them? "Because Ramadan is beginning."
9:50 We leave. The two detainees still haven't been released. The youth who was put in the cell is still there.
Another month of Ramadan, another year, the occupation continues without letup.