Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 13.11.08, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
6:50 A huge plaza in being built at the entrance junction to Ariel, where a policeman usually stands in the morning directing traffic.
6:54 The entrance to Marda is open; Zeita is closed.
7:00 Za'tara/Tapuach -
No line of vehicles, cars arrive and pass through. One lane open, cars are hardly inspected. Taxis and trucks as well. One soldier sits in the position above the lamp.
A truck is stop for a moment and a line forms immediately.
7:10 A minibus arrives at the checkpoint and is sent to be inspected in the parking lot. The next minibus goes through without being checked.
7:12 The soldiers open a second lane. A third lane is open for special cases.
7:14 The minibus inspection is complete and it continues on its way.
7:28 Burin/Yitzhar junction - A Border Police jeep stands on the side of the road.
7:30 Huwwara -
The parking lot is still half empty. About 50 people on the pedestrian line, which advances quickly.
7:50 A taxi leaving Nablus is detained for inspection. The driver removes packages from the trunk and is sent over to the x-ray machine. He's released after about 5 minutes.
8:07 Awarta -
4 trucks on line. Quiet. Cars go through; we ask about them and are told that they have documents that they're businessmen.
8:30 Beit Furik -
We approach and a soldier takes out a camera a photographs us. We smiled politely. There's an officer on site (a lieutenant), and we ask to speak to him. He comes over and is joined by the checkpoint commander. We ask the reason for the photograph and he says that its because we're standing where we aren't allowed and it's disruptive. We express our view, and also ask what's disruptive. The officer stammers, uncomfortably, finally the checkpoint commander admits that we're not being disruptive but "some are." He said that a week and a half ago someone from Machsom Watch called him a Nazi. The officer is the area commander and is here on an inspection tour.
There's a dog handler on site. Inspection of vehicles takes a long time and a long line forms. Only one lane open. A bus arrives. The men get off and go through the checkpoint on foot, the women remain on the bus and two soldiers get on and check them.
We moved away and the checkpoint commander came over to talk to us again. They check every vehicle coming from the direction of Nablus, and one-tenth are inspected by the dog handler. But only vehicles entering Nablus that seem suspicious are inspected. We tried to explain that at the current rate vehicles are being checked people will have to wait for more than two hours. He refused to understand but later it looked as if the conversation had some effect on him, another lane opened, the inspections were much faster and the line disappears.
10:00 The end of the shift, and return home.