Beit Furik, Huwwara, Mon 10.11.08, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
15:40 We see and hear taxi drivers who are standing on the sidewalk at the exit to the parking area next to the Huwwara checkpoint arguing loudly with the DCO representative, waving their hands.
It turns out, according to the drivers, that they parked their taxis where they weren't allowed to. They claim there's a white line and the soldiers told them they could park there, and now they were told they couldn't, the keys to their taxis were confiscated and they were told they'd be returned at five pm. The drivers are desperate. At five pm it's already dark, and they'll have to sit idly instead of working. The cab was, in fact, blocking the exit from the parking area, and made it difficult for cars to get by. We were surprised that the taxi driver wasn't asked to move the taxi. We spoke to the checkpoint commander and with the DCO representative. The checkpoint commander explained that the taxi drivers asked for permission to park temporarily on the side of the road to pick up passengers and drop them off. Permission was given to five taxis, and ten stopped. The Palestinians themselves were the ones who complained, and that's why the keys were confiscated. The checkpoint commander promised to look into it again and see whether he can release them sooner. And, after 15 minutes, the keys were returned.
On the other side of the automobile checkpoint is the x-ray vehicle where people carrying suitcases and bags have to have their contents inspected. Every few minutes a car is pulled over to the side, its passengers get out and the dog handler goes over with her dog to sniff the trunk and the interior before the driver is allowed to continue.
We talked to the checkpoint commander about the construction of the new checkpoint to the south of the existing one. He explained that it will be larger, with more security, and provide shelter from the rain. Isn't it a waste of money? No, it's not our money, it's American money.
16:30 Few people going through the checkpoint on foot. We didn't see cars going through the checkpoint. The DCO representative arrives in a jeep and says he was sent here because of a traffic jam. The mystery wasn't solved while we were there. But a soldier ran to the road to stop a speeding truck coming from the west and going east. After a short discussion the truck continues on its way and the soldier returns to his position.