Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 5.10.08, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
There are 7 cars from the west and 11 from the north.
At the ‘cafe' in the car park we are told that "the situation is good, the soldiers are good".
There is no traffic of cars or people at the roadblock, apparently because of the festival.
The roadblock is deserted.
The stalls are working again after the month of Ramadan during which they were unattended. However, the car park is not as full as it usually is during the week.
There are some 20 people in the queue to leave Nablus. A long queue, about 70 people, crowd near the turnstiles which are supposed to ‘regulate' the entrance to the town.
We find out that there are two men in the cell. They claim to have been there for two hours, their names appear on the list (‘bingo!' according to the soldiers). One of them complains of a medical problem and asks to leave and return to Nablus.
The soldiers who notice that I am talking to the detainees do not send me away, they use new tactics: they photograph me.
One of them enjoys the game of photographing with his mobile phone, and does not stop until the commander asks him to return to his position.
We go over to the commander, A., who is not prepared to talk to us. We ask if we can ask him something - he does not take any notice.
Other soldiers photograph the three of us.
There are about 40 people in the queue. A lot, relatively, are sent to check their bags at the x-ray machine. The logic of the inspection is not clear to us: people carrying relatively large bags are not sent for inspection. Some people, women among them, with small bags are forced to go for inspection. A young woman carrying a small bag and a carrier bag containing only a book is sent for inspection. She opens the carrier bag in front of us to share the absurdity of the inspection with us.
We have not seen the DCO representative since we arrived and we ring Zaran who tells us that T., from the DCO, should be there. He promises to contact him. One of the soldiers, who either was not aware of the sweeping order that we are to be boycotted and it is forbidden to speak to us, or is simply (and this was our impression) a reasonable person, tells us where T., is and calls him.
T., from the DCO, comes over. He tells us that the detainees, their names are on the list, have been in the cell since 8:00 a.m. They will be released straight away. They are indeed released and continue on their way.
The queue towards Nablus fades away - there are about 30 people in it.
We leave early in order to give a lift to the father of the child who was involved in a road accident in Huwwara about a year ago, he is a ‘vegetable', to the hospital in Yad Eliahu.