Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 6.10.08, Afternoon
Za'tara (Tapuach) No cars from the west and 10 from Ramallah.
13.15 Beit Furik.
We arrive when there is a change of shift and are told by pedestrians waiting on both sides that they have been waiting for 10 minutes. A minute after we arrived pedestrians started going through in the direction of the exit from Nablus. The checking was not in both directions. The pedestrians showed IDs which were checked against a list. Cars were carefully checked and also the inside and the baggage compartment and IDS of driver and passengers. No cars in the direction of the entrance to Nablus. The commander said that the passage was for residents of Beit DaJan, Beit Furik, Dir el Hatib, Salem and Azmut. We asked him if he was sure because Ramadan had ended and the checkpoints have returned to routine and the passage was only for residents of Beit Dajan and Beit Furik. But he insisted.
13.20 A civilian car stopped next to the checkpoint and three young men with skull caps got out. They had served here and one of them was on leave before ending his service. They brought nuts with them which they cracked while standing there, talking loudly and spitting the residue on the ground. One of them joins a soldier checking cars "for the fun of it." He asks the drivers and after that one of the pedestrians "Do you have a bead chain" (which is used for prayers). When we left at 13.40 they were still there.
The commander comes up to us and says, "After we found two detonators yesterday you still have the cheek to come here."
There are 3 checking posts for the men and they pass the x-ray device. Belts are removed and put on the other side of the checkpoint. The line is very short and there were moments especially after 15.00 that the checkpoint was empty. The side lane for women and men over 45. Some are sent to the x-ray device on the other side of the checkpoint to check their bags and parcels.
Cars at the entrance to Nablus have IDs and permits checked. There are not many in the other direction and the passage is swift. At the exit to the city there is a constant stream of cars. The inside and the baggage compartments are checked this took about 4 minutes not counting the time spent in line. One of the soldiers chased away some men who were putting on their belts in the area where we were standing. He said to them in Arabic, " Get away from here. And then in Hebrew, "Only they can stand here because they are Israelis and Jewish." He did this to insult us and repeated this every few minutes. This was the same soldier who pushed me two weeks ago and whom I made a complaint about.
14.40 A young man is told to stand with his face to the separating fence between the side lane and the car lane which enters Nablus. The commander pushes his legs aside and checks him bodily...his ankles, legs, back and stomach. This takes a few minutes. We asked the young man why and he said he did not know. Maybe because he is not goodlooking.
From the DCO representative A. we understood that the checkpoint closes at 21.00 and not at 23.00 because of "the winter clock." The army centre N. gave the same explanation and we asked what the connection was between the change of time and she said maybe because of Ramadan. But Ramadan has ended. We asked if they are trying to make things easier for the soldiers who worked long hours in Ramadan because of the alleviations for the holiday (let's suppose) and she insisted that it was not so. She also did not know if the checkpoint was closing early that day only or also on other days.
The soldier photographs us a number of times from different vantages. When Dannie takes out his camera and tries to photograph him he shouts not to photograph him. That is forbidden.
16.00 Za'tara. (Tapuach) 10 cars in the direction of Ramallah and one from the west.