Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 3.11.08, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
14:00 Traffic toward Nablus flows without inspections.
Toward Jerusalem: 3 cars
14:30 A man came over to us for help when we arrived in the parking lot. His two-year-old daughter has a liver disease. Hospitals in the territories can't help her, only Hadassah Ein Karem. He applied to the Peres Center two months ago but hasn't been able to make contact with them and they haven't replied even though he left messages. He's looking for help.
A taxi driver came over to us for assistance. His wife, who's from Venezuela, is waiting for an ID card. She got the ID number two months ago, but the ID card hasn't arrived. Today they didn't want to let her through the checkpoint with the authorization she has. Who can help?
14:45 More than 50 people in the shed, in two lines. Inspections are rapid, about half an hour wait.
14:50 A taxi driver, his first time at the checkpoint, parked too close. His keys were confiscated; he's released after a talk with the commander.
Vehicle lanes: No line to enter Nablus.
It's hard to see how many cars are waiting to leave Nablus. A driver asked how long it took him to get through said "a long time" because the taxis are constantly passing and butting in line, so it takes a very long time.
15:05 An ambulance arrives at the checkpoint, siren sounding, and goes through quickly.
The soldier stationed at the position closest to the entrance to Nablus comes out of his position from time to time and organizes the line by whistling at the people waiting. He checks ID's against the list he's holding; when he comes to a suspicious number he yells it out to the female soldier sitting at the computer. Since the people waiting on line make noise, she doesn't hear the number, and occasionally screams at the people waiting to be quiet. A real bazaar.
15:15 We selected a particular person to time.
15:50 We stood next to the entry turnstile to Nablus and watched the people waiting in the shed. The commander stopped the inspections until we moved back to the imaginary extension of the blue line. There are barbed wire between us and his position. How can we be disturbing him at this distance?
The shed is full of people; we estimate there are more than 100.
16:15 The person we selected to time at 15:15 just went through.
16:30 As I arrived at the checkpoint a soldier came out and made me move away.
6-8 vehicles at the exit from Nablus. 4-5 vehicles at the entrance. One inspection lane. One vehicle waiting at the entrance. The rest wait on the other side of the junction.
In answer to our question, the soldiers say they haven't enough manpower to open an additional lane. As far as I can see, there's a group of soldiers there who aren't doing much. It's more important to them to deal with us and where we're standing.
The people say, in their own tongue, that the soldiers now manning the checkpoint make you feel really discouraged.
16:40 We left.
A taxi driver came over to us in the parking lot to show a letter from the DCO that refuses him permission to enter Nablus with the taxi. The reason can't be deciphered.