Beit Furik, Huwwara, Sun 5.10.08, Afternoon
Translator: Tal H.
We headed to our shift by way of Nebi Elias-Kedumim-Yitzhar colonies. At the spot where the 'illegal' outpost (offshoot of the illegal colony) had stood until recently, merely piles of garbage are seen now. Two young Jewish colonists proudly seated on their horses, their sidecurls ruffled by the wind were also seen at the roadside.
Huwwara Checkpoint 15:15
Commander: 2nd lieutenant Arye, DCO representative: Tomer; 3 active checking posts
X-ray truck in action. Upon our arrival we see no detainees in the hold.
Policewoman Dina has set a new acoustic record: throughout the entire first hour of our shift she never once ceased to exchange shouts and screeches with her colleague and verbally play around with the other soldiers. Such a barrage of shouts/jokes/talking in fluent Arabic but with an unintelligible Hebrew accent - Palestinians could not understand her - we have not experienced here to date. To a Palestinian who actually thought she was talking Hebrew to him, and said desperately "but I don't understand Hebrew!', she furiously replied: "Me, talking to you in Hebrew???! I'm talking to you in Arabic!!! Get back!!!!"
The only few moments in which she suddenly quieted down - but then the checks also ceased - were when she grabbed a camera to photograph us, together with the securing soldier nearest her.
The other soldiers follow suit and - for a change... - kept the waiting lines 'neat'. "Whoooooooooooooooa!!!! You there, crush out that cigarette, immediately!!!"
15:45 A young man is detained and sent to the concrete cubicle. Judging by the way the soldiers grab the back of his neck and push him in, we assume he is being punished for some behavior in the waiting line.
MPolicewoman Dina invents a lyric masterpiece and roars: "3 (or 6, her diction left something to be desired) months and I'm not here!!!"
Average waiting time in her checking line per person is over one hour. In the other two lines, it is visibly shorter. In mid-check, she yells to her colleague in the furthest checking post: "Shiran, I got a question for you: say in the middle of your shift, a terrorist comes up to you with a knife thisssssssssssssss long, and your gun is pointed down like it is now, what would you do??"
On the vehicle checking lane, a bus waits over half an hour while the soldiers process its passengers' IDs.
16:30 the last detainee is released.
We learn that this morning, a 22-year old Palestinian showed up at the checkpoint lines with two pipe bombs!! He was held, interrogated, and... released. A fact that the soldiers and the public are not at all aware of. Apparently he was released because he actually had no other intentions than to get arrested, hoping his family would thus gain a better source of livelihood than he has by being a poor worker.
On our return from Beit Furik, at 17:25, MPolicewoman Dina is still screeching, and for every two Palestinians passing through the other two checking posts, a single one gets her full attention.
17:55 - commander Arye has caught a "leaker" who even dared to try to escape his grip. As a punishment, his arm is harshly twisted behind his back while he being led towards the hold area, and his search includes the extra kicks to the legs in order to splay them enough, before being slammed into the cubicle.
Beit Furik Checkopint 16:45
Vehicles are checked on one lane only, meaning that alternately in- and out-going vehicles from the city are inspected. The soldiers are bored, demonstratively slow, at least 5 cars are waiting endlessly to approach the checkpoint. A soldier grunts to himself, thinking of the Palestinians: "Enough already, stop coming here!"
Half an hour later we were on our way back to Huwwara.