Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), יום ד' 8.10.08, בוקר
Translation: Suzanne O.
There is no change: it's closed.
Labourers gather round their cars. The barrier of piles of earth and stones turns the temporary into practically permanent.
There is no crowding in either direction. We do not stop.
On the Huwwara road there are a lot of pupils walking to school and some of the shops are already open, contrary to the period of Ramadan.
The traffic of both pedestrians and cars is relatively heavy. A queue of 8 - 10 cars is starting to take shape in the car park. However, the inspections, it must be said, are fast and the soldiers work continuously, quietly and without delays. Relying on previous reports we assume that we are ‘allowed' to approach the checkpoints. We approach and the soldiers, for the moment, do not say anything.
The stream of pedestrians increases. A coach with high school students on their way to a university visit arrives. According to the regulation they alight before the roadblock and the coach is inspected and crosses in order to wait for them on the other side of the roadblock. The inspection is quick. Even so there is a noticeable lack of manpower at the roadblock. Just one soldier inspects while another one guards him from behind, thus a queue of 12 cars builds up in the car park.
- Before we left we wanted to praise the soldiers (it was the eve of Yom Kippur and there had often been opposition and hostility towards us here) but they now leapt to send us away and were a bit shocked by our compliments and our traditional Yom Kippur greeting.
There are few crossing to the north. The traffic entering Nablus is routine. Even the car park is not as crowded as usual; obviously they know that there is closure. A queue of 4 - 5 cars is formed for a few minutes from the south.
The number of soldiers at the roadblock is greater than usual. 2 checkpoints are staffed as well as a humanitarian lane. The x-ray machine is functioning and a dog handler is present. The commander, 2nd lieutenant A., who recognises us, comes over to talk to us with an unknown DCO officer. There is tension in the atmosphere, but everything runs routinely without any particular incidents. In their estimation it will be busy this afternoon.
Since Ramadan is over business in the car park is quite hectic.
Since there was no change and there were no particular incidents we left early because of Yom Kippur.
There are 7 cars in the queue from the north, from the west empty.