Beit Furik, Huwwara, Sun 21.12.08, Afternoon
Translation: Tal H.
14:45 - Kifl Hareth
The metal gate across the access road to the village is open now, but not for us. By the concrete tower (shooting and observation) that replaced the old Palestinian nursery, two soldiers on patrol made sure we turn right back to where we came from.
15:10 Beit Furik Checkpoint
Open, vehicle traffic moving freely in and out of Nablus.
15:25 Huwwara Checkpoint
At the roundabout at the entrance to the compound, brightly colored settler posters:
"Light starts at Homesh!"
The moment we arrive, before we even place ourselves at our monitoring spot close to where the Palestinians come out of the checks towards the exit path, the checkpoint commander hurries to us and insists we are disturbing him in his work by the mere fact of being there. Sic. He insists we move over to our 'designated' spot, allegedly close to the pedestrian entrance to Nablus. We call the army hotline to complain of this and eventually resituate ourselves precisely there, for the new spot provides a much better perspective of the pedestrian waiting lines.
Can't do without typos, can one? If in the old checkpoint, the army reserved a special cubicle for "women ispection", in the new one, the entrance gate especially designated for the disabled, reads "disable passage"...
Vehicles exiting Nablus are inspected relatively quickly, so far no sniffer dog.
The entry turnstile is narrow and resists pushing.
DCO representative is not easily identifiable or seen on the ground.
The army does demand 'sterility', supposedly, but just inside the entry turnstile it lets a mass of taxi drivers crowd upon the pedestrians crossing in, hardly leaving them any room to proceed.
The new checkpoint is full of right angles, spick and sparkling metal fencing and square closed areas - but as far as we can see there are no toilets, no water, no place for the women to wait for their husbands and sons. Nothing.
Waiting time varies from 20 minutes to an hour.
After 17:00 it got darker, colder and gloomy, and we retired.