Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 13.11.08, Afternoon
14.00 Crossroads of Za'tara 30 cars at the north.
The carpark is full as usual of people and traders. Behind the turnstiles are about 50 people.
The checkpoint is quiet. No shouting. The shift only started an hour and a half ago.
The commander and another soldier are checking cars. One car tries to bypass and the driver, a captain in the Palestinian police is told to go back in shame to the end of the line so that he should not think that he is someone and also to show him who is the boss here.
15.15 We leave for Beit Furik.
Beit Furik 15.25
Our driver stops the car on the right side of the road as usual. It seems that there are many cars in a slow line and many pedestrians who pass fairly swiftly.
15.45 One of the soldiers at the checkpoint comes and demands from us that we move the car immediately to the other side as it is causing a problem. We ask what bothers him as for the past 6 years we have been standing there each day.
He demands to know if the driver is an Arab. We ask what difference it makes.
The soldier says he is an Arab and wants to see his ID. We went with him to the car.
The soldier says that he is an Arab and demands that his car be photographed and also the number of the car. He tells him he cannot drive any more and that he will see what happens to him. In the middle of the commotion the commander who refuses to identify himself and drives to stop the soldier who is going crazy and return him to his place at the turnstile. He shouts at us "You want him to guard you. We are guarding your security." And the soldiers goes on shouting that we are all leftists and that he wishes we could leave the country. There is a very unpleasant exchange of words with the two until we told him to shut his mouth and not to speak to us like that. He shouts out that we are to be photographed and a complaint will be lodged against us and we reply that we will do the same. He says that we are forbidden to photograph and that they will confiscate the camera. He says that they are the property of the army and so on and so on.
The soldier goes back to his post and the blue eyed captain keeps on that we are bothering them and that he will complain about us.
Yesterday the brigade commander had been there and explained to them exactly what they are allowed to do. He spoke and spoke and repeated again and again that we were bothering him and in the end went back to his position.
16.30 A jeep arrives with 5 soldiers including a captain of higher rank. The soldiers stood around us and began photographing with three cameras from the back and the front. , we will have a "seriouse book".
We called the captain to come to us. Sergeant or captain or assistant battalion commander (not sure) Idan Seidof who agreed to give his name and now (he is now in the role of a kindergarten teacher) we explain to him our side of the story. He seems to be listening and maybe he understands that we are not the cause of the confusion at the checkpoint which was why he had been summoned. He also answered our questions about the blue eyes commander who speaks good Arabic and refuses to identify himself and yes he is a Druze.
17.00 We left.