Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 5.11.08, Afternoon

Observers: 
Racheli B'O., Tom K. (reporting)
05/11/2008
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Afternoon

Natanya translating.

14.30 Beit Furik.
8 cars leaving Nablus. One car tries to enter but must wait until those cars are checked. The one after it again has to wait a long time. Few pedestrians. We stand at the turnstiles. The commander comes up and tells us to go to the cement blocks at the back of the checkpoint.  He says that it is an order and that this is a closed army area. We explain that it is not so. He makes some vague threats and goes back. We thought there might be a "stoppage of life" but this did not happen.
14.50 We left. The owner of the kiosk said that  settlers in a black van had come to his kiosk towards morning, stopped next to the drivers who were praying, hooted, shouted and cursed but had not got out of their vehicle. The soldiers at the checkpoint which opens at 5.00 were not to be seen and did not react to the noise and shouts.
 
15.20 Huwwara.
Comparatively few people. A humanitarian and another not so long line. Two checking areas
A detainee, 10 minutes and not clear why he has been detained. The DCO representative does not even know that he is there never mind why. Turns out to be "bingo" (on the GSS lists) They are waiting for the reply of the secret service. The mother says that he is accompanying  his father who is in a wheel chair to an operation in Jerusalem. The father cannot go on his own.
15.55 A freezing of life. A wanted man is caught and is handcuffed and blindfolded. To make things equal the commander handcuffs the detainee also . We cannot find out why there has been a stoppage of life. The commander ignores us and the DCO representative, A., does not speak to us and goes away saying that he is busy. It seems that  there is a suspicious object  which has been found at a busstop going up to Har Bracha. A robot is dealing with it. It is to be noted that none of the soldiers explain to the Palestinians why there is a stoppage of life. It is as if this is not their routine which has been interruped and that they have a right to know why they are being delayed. There is no explosion. (Maybe they are dealing with something one of the settlers has forgotten?)
16.10 The checkpoint is again working and of course there is pressure and pushing.
16.20 A third detainee is freed. A soldier says that he should not have been in the detaineesinfo-icon' cell. (We did not see when he was detained, probably when we were sent away when there was a stoppage of life.
The mother of the detained man ( we are now not sure if it is the wanted man or bingo) says that he has a permit to enter Israel and lately has got a magnetic card. Only he can take his father to Jerusalem because he is the only one who can lift him and take him there. The father is handicapped and in a wheel chair. All this time the commander is saying that the man is a dangerous wanted man . The  DCO representative ignores us and does not make eye contact with us.
16.40 Shai, the commander of the zone, says that the wanted man is just "bingo" and hopes to free him soon. T. says he has no permit of entry into Israel as the family states vehemently. Tom phones Z. a few times and asks him to see to it that the DCO representative takes notice of our questions. In the end A. says that the Secret service spoke to the man and summoned him for Wednesday and now he will be freed. He is not and we think that A. is just currying favour with us and the worried mother.
17.05 The detained man is brought out and the mother is happy but it seems in vain...he is taken to the toilet.
Two people try to go in with a newly bought car so as to have it registered in Nablus. The car is not allowed through because they do not have the right papers (it is new, etc.) Only half an hour later when the commander intervenes is it allowed to go in.
17.35 We leave, despairing and worried about the detainee. We left his uncle who is taking the family in his car our phone number so that he can let us know what happens.
17.40 As we leave the man is freed.
 
17.45 Za'tara. 25 cars in different directions.