Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 30.9.08, Afternoon
Translation: Ruth F.
It was the first day of the Id El Fiter. It is custom to visit ones family on this day, but the Nablus checkpoints were empty. On the previous year we saw families dressed in festive clothes, children were holding gifts and they were on their way to see their families. The checkpoints were crowded, women and children that passed through the fast lanes, waiting for the men. But on this day the checkpoints were empty. We asked a young man at Huwwara who had passed at the checkpoint on his our, without his family. He said: "it's because of the situation".
16:43 Burin Junction (about 200 meters after the junction, on the road leading to Huwwara)-
There was a rolling checkpoint of the BP unit, it was meant for those heading south.
The checkpoint commander was very firm, we were a security risk and so he told us to leave immediately.
Two cabs were waiting. There were five men with several children in one of them. They were from the village Adama. Their IDs were handed back to four of them a few minutes after we arrived. One of them was a journalist from Kuwait. He wanted to take photos of us and was most excited to meet peace activists that were against the checkpoints. We were also very excited.
In the other cab were five Palestinians and three international activists. The IDs were taken from the Palestinians, the activists didn't have to show their passports. While we were waiting there two other cabs were pulled over, the waiting time was cut short from about 20 minutes to only 5. Only big transit cabs were pulled over. Privet vehicles and cabs were permitted to head on.
There were few pedestrians and vehicles here as well. The representative of the DCO wasn't present here as well. Two lines were intended for men and one for women and elders. IDs were checked. The men passed through a metal detector, they had to empty their pockets and take their belts off. Some were sent to the x-ray machine at the other side of the checkpoint. "Yalla zamale ta'al wahad wahad".
There were few pedestrians. IDs and permits were checked at the entrance to Nablus. IDs and permits of cab drivers were also inspected at the exit from Nablus, their trunk was also checked. The passengers were permitted, due to the holiday to reach the checkpoint while remaining in the car with the driver.
As soon as we arrived a young man was told to lean on the middle inspection booth facing the booth. The soldier kicked him to spread his legs. He then preformed a physical inspection on him- he felt his legs, crotch and stomach. The soldiers laughed "look he is shivering". The whole thing went on for about half a minute. The ID was handed back to the young man and he headed off (I asked him why he was searched. He was shivering and went on. I gave up. From what the soldiers said it seems to me that they though he had something in his pocket).
A 14 year old boy wasn't permitted to pass. He didn't have an ID. He headed on with his two uncles to visit their relatives in Nablus. They were standing next to us pointing on the boy. Dafna spoke to the military line who passed it on to the DCO who also passed it on to the checkpoint commander. We were told that the child will be permitted to pass. The uncles signaled the boy but he was to scared to come near. One of the uncles entered Nablus again to join the boy. The boy came to the counter with the uncle, he was bending down. They passed. They were smiling with relief as they passed by us.
18:00 Beit Furik
Very few pedestrians were there. There were also only a few vehicles, the inspection was preformed simultaneously on both sides. Some drivers had to open the hood of their car. Everyone was permitted to pass due to the holiday (on regular days the checkpoint is only for Beit Dajan and Beit Furik residents). "People from Dubai were here today" one of the soldiers said proudly.
18:40 The rolling checkpoint at Burin wasn't active any more.
18:45 Za'tara (Tapouah)- Two vehicles from Nablus were standing in line, the checkpoint was empty for those coming from the west.