'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 24.11.08, Morning
Translation: Hanna K.
Summary: CP routine, without special events.
A long queue at Za'tara from the direction of Nablus.
At Huwwara, as at each shift, vehicles without appropriate authorization are returned. There are so few happy ones with appropriate authorization. This time we helped transfer a very sick woman in the car of her husband, as a special gesture.
We heard about the working condition of the unemployed who take risks by illegal entrance into Israel.
The entrance to Marda is open. The entrance to Zeita is blocked by concrete barricades. On our way back cars were standing on both sides of the concrete barricades. On the Zeita side about 10 cars (who were left by their drivers who passed on foot) and 2 on the side of road no. 5 (who were waiting for people from the village).
The entrance to Beita is open.
Za'tara (Tapuah) Junction - 07:20
We counted 45 cars waiting from the direction of Nablus. We rang the "humanitarian" center and Z. from the DCO Nablus. Both promised to act.
When we returned there was one car in the queue. A police jeep and an army jeep were parked at the entrance to the Tapuah settlement.
At the town of Huwwara - opposite the entrance to Beita there is a border police jeep - three soldiers stop each taxi, collect the ID cards for checking. The drivers claim that they are waiting half an hour. When we arrived there were 3 taxis. The soldiers returned the ID cards quickly. The place is at a distance of 5 minutes from two CPs - one from each direction, where they will be again detained for the checking of their ID cars.
Apart from this jeep there were one police jeep and one army jeep in the town, not clear for what purpose.
Beit Furik 07:30-07:55
As opposed to the long vehicle queues which we normally see at this hour, there were only 2 cars. Also, the pedestrians who stream at this hour in the direction of Nablus passed quickly.
Awarta - only two cars are waiting from the direction of Nablus.
The blasphemous notice of the women in blue and white from a week ago has been removed.
Huwwara - 08:00-10:15
There are no detainees. The X-ray truck is in action. There is a dog. While we were there it checked one car. There is one DCO representative - A.
When we arrived there were 3 checking posts for pedestrians coming from Nablus active. The queue shrank. One of the passers said that he had waited ten minutes. All the time there is the noise of the beeps of the magnometer, and people come and return and take off something else (belt, bag, shoes) and then, in view of all those present, they have to dress again.
The busses at the entrance to the town are not checked.
08:55 - only two stations are active. 10-15 men in each queue, apart from the "humanitarian" queue (for women and men over 45).
One of the soldiers who guard the military policewomen shouts all the time rudely at the people standing in the queue.
From Nablus there is one car waiting. This is the situation most of the time, because of the policy of withholding entrance and exit permits for vehicles from Nablus, the second largest town in the West Bank (over 150.000 inhabitants).
09:00 - an Israeli car is not allowed to enter Nablus. Later two other cars arrived with the same result.
09:15 - A changing of guards between the work-stations. There is a stopping of the checking for 5 minutes.
An officer with the rank of captain arrives.
The soldier in the station for the checking of vehicles in the direction of Nablus stops the checking as he remained without a security guard. We counted 12 soldiers in area of the CP. Five minutes later he begins checking again (anyway, as mentioned, there are almost no vehicles entering Nablus).
A vehicle without an entry permit is sent back after a lengthy inquiry into his papers. This is a phenomenon we witness during every shift.
An old man with a walker proceeds slowly, step after step. It is clear that he suffers. This way he is obliged to walk the 300-400 meters which all those entering or leaving Nablus have to cover.
09:25 - Again a vehicle tries to enter Nablus and is sent back as he has no permit. In the vehicle there is a woman who underwent a car accident a month ago. She was hurt in her head, and also has a few fractures. She has a medical letter (which luckily N. was able to translate for us) confirming this. We called the Center, as well as Dalia Bassa. Twenty minutes later the car was permitted to enter. The problem is that she is obliged to go for treatment every 5 days. If she takes a taxi each time the fare will cost 150 IS - a large amount for a West Bank inhabitant. Her husband has a car but without the proper papers. What will happen next time and on?
While we are still investigating - another vehicle is turned back. We couldn't find out who was in it and why it was turned back.
At the parking lot passers by complain about the economic situation. There is no work. The only chance is to come and work in Israel. Work permits are given only to men over 35, married with children. How can one marry if there is no livelihood? Lacking any other choice they infiltrate into Israel without permits at the Ramallah region where there is no dividing fence. When they are caught the soldiers beat them. But even so they continue trying. 12 hours of work per day, about 10-12 IS per hour, hard work at restaurants or retirement homes. The fact that they cannot complain is exploited. This is the new colonialism.