'Awarta, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 30.12.08, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
The checkpoint was manned by a new group of soldiers who spent part of the time paying attention to us rather than making the lines shorter. The soldiers said that about an hour before we arrived they arrested a youth who tried to stab a soldier.
At 15:00 a curfew was imposed on Huwwara.
14:20 Za'tara. No line, the checkpoint is open.
New soldiers at the checkpoint. A., the commander, says that only a sample of people are inspected, the checkpoint is open, soldiers point their rifles at the cold... The checkpoint is open between 05:00 and 22:00.
14:45 Awarta. 10 cars waiting at the exit to be inspected. Most of them private cars.
An hour before we arrived a stabbing incident occurred and the checkpoint was shut down. The "stabber" was arrested and taken away.
New soldiers here also. Itz., the commander, looks frightened and nervous. He chases us away from where we were standing (near the humanitarian lane), hears us complain and immediately calls the police to come deal with us.
5 soldiers come over to us, some of them officers and two female soldiers from the situation room. The soldiers, headed by someone from the IDF press office, stand opposite and point their weapons at us, advance, hem us to move us away from where people go through the checkpoint, toward the parking lot or the turnstile where people come in. We insist that we're not interfering with anything by standing here in the center, show them what's written in the regulations, photograph the way they're standing, while they photograph us. Soon they bring us a fax, dating from July, prohibiting us from crossing over the white line...
Following this ceremony of quiet violence, in which they tried to push us back by the show of militance just described, the soldier from the IDF press office stood facing us during our entire shift. As if he had been assigned to watch the Machsom Watch women, so they won't be an annoyance at the checkpoint. He was polite, and mumbled that we should move away from the central area where we were standing. He finally came to terms with our presence there, but kept tabs on us during our entire shift, accompanied by two female soldiers from the situation room, who might have been practicing on us.
3 lanes. People on the humanitarian lane complained they had to wait for two hours. Sometimes they had to remove their shoes. Most were students. Nadim says it's exam time. Some hissed curses as they came through. But some of the soldiers were busy with us instead of seeing that the lines moved more quickly.
Women wait for men in the middle of the path to the parking lot. Two soldiers move toward them, again in a militant manner, their rifles pointed at them, and push them toward the parking lot.
A., the DCO representative, is one of them.
16:45 It's cold at the checkpoint. We leave.
Burin junc. 4 cars on line to be checked.
Huwwara (the villlage). Empty. The shops are closed. There's a curfew. A man on his way to the mosque says that the curfew has been in effect for two hours. From 15:00. Is it because of the war in Gaza?
Beita. An army jeep stops vehicles going down onto the main road. 8 cars on line.