Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 19.11.08, Afternoon
14.35 Crossroads of Za'tara. 6 cars from north to south.
Two checking posts. Comparatively short lines. The x-ray machine is working.
15.00. Because of a change in shift the line of cars from Nablus is closed and 7 cars are in line.
15.15 The car lane opens and there are 9 cars waiting to enter Nablus. There is a strike at the university so there is little movement.
16.15 Beit Furik.
2 detainees in the cell. The commander demands that we move off and stand at the cement blocks. We refuse and he says that he will summon the police and closes the checkpoint.
There are some high ranking officers receiving a briefing from the brigade commander and we complain but he is not bothered and says that the orders to stand outside the checkpoint are his but he also says that it is forbidden to close the cbeckpoint.
The car of the detainees is at the side of the road and the lights are on. We ask the commander to allow the driver to switch them off but he refuses. We complain to the brigade commander and the commander is scolded and the detainees freed. The man who is a veterinary from Nablus did not know that he was not allowed to travel on "the road of Yitamar" and therefore had been detained for an hour and a half. The driver says that each day he waits nearly an hour to an hour and a half at the entrance to Nablus. He lives there and his wife in Beit Dejan. The brigade commander says that this is fine,.
A Palestinian says that a young woman from Jordan has come to live in Beit Furik. She has a permit that she went to the Ministry of the Interior in Nablus so as to get an ID as a resident of Beit Furik. The soldiers do not allow her to pass. We complain to the centre and to the brigade commander. The officers leave and it is not clear what happened to the woman. The soldiers send the cars through very slowly. An army jeep arrives maybe because of our complaint to the centre. The Palestinians come out and shout to us to go and see what is happening at the checkpoint. They are very angry and we do not know what is happening. Many people are stuck at the checkpoint. The soldiers in the jeep photograph us. We stand at the end of the cement blocks and a soldier comes up to demand our details which we refuse to give him . He keeps photographing us and saying "Yes yes I am photographing them."
17.10 The checkpoint is full. Pedestrains and cars pass very slowly. We leave with a very bad feeling that maybe our presence had only slowed things up and that we could not help or interfere so as to improve anything. There is no way that we can carry out our task at Beit Furik.
17.30 Za'tara. 15 cars from east.