'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 7.12.08, Morning

Observers: 
Yael B., and Ditza Y. (reporting)
Dec-7-2008
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Morning

Translation:  Suzanne O.


Za'atra

7:30 a.m. 

From the west the roadblock is empty, not even one car, the soldiers are in the checkpoint.

From the north there are 2 - 3 cars.


Beit Furiq

7:50 a.m. 

During the time we were there, about 10 minutes, 3 - 4 cars arrived at the roadblock; they weren't inspected.  There were also very few pedestrians who crossed quickly without being inspected.

The owner of the café says that, because of the festival, most of those leaving Nablus will arrive later on.


Awarta

8:10 a.m. 

The roadblock has been moved southwards.  There are a number of lorries at the exit from Nablus and they are inspected quickly.

A car arrives; the driver is told to alight and lift his cloak for inspection. He is finally sent back to Nablus.

The soldiers tell us that only lorries, and cars in humanitarian cases, are permitted to cross here.


Huwwara

8:25 a.m. 

In the car park there are about half the normal number of cars.  This enabled us to park in the car park, instead of where we normally park, a small bay at the end of Madison Way.  Settlers passed by the car and we were concerned that they may damage it.

At the turnstiles there were very few people during the whole of our stay.  One checkpoint and the humanitarian lane were open.  The Gorman was working.

A look-out post over the roadblock has appeared, apparently part of the new project.  A toilet cabinet has also appeared in the area; it seems that it will be moved to the new roadblock.  The Palestinians are confused about the expected new conditions.  A young man who came through the turnstile told us that he had heard that from now on buses from Nablus will be able to go into Israel without inspections.

9:30 a.m. 

A young man asks for our help: his friend is at the roadblock and is not permitted to leave Nablus.  He has lost his ID card.  He has brought his birth certificate with him but this is not enough for the soldiers, they want his father to come to the roadblock.  We approached the DCO representative who was there, he was prepared to help the youngster and came over to him with us, but, meanwhile, the boy was allowed to cross.

Cars entering Huwwara are not inspected and the checkpoints are unstaffed most of the time we are there.  The drivers, who are used to checkpoints being without soldiers and having to wait until someone has the goodness to come to inspect them, wait to be inspected.  It was a rather bizarre scene; we were the ones to tell the drivers that they are allowed to cross.

9:45 a.m.

We left the roadblock.

We visited a Palestinian family in Huwwara.  They say that a trip from Huwwara to Beit Furiq, on a road they are permitted to use, takes one and a half to two hours.