Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 12.1.09, Morning
Wishing that no news would mean good news .
Thorough checking at Huwwara.
(short) detention for punishment and "education", not: "Security" !
7.10 Marda: open at both gates.
Zeita: "permanently" closed: with the well known big concrete blocks.
7.15 Za'tara: (Tapu'ah): no special events.
We avoid the confrontation about the "sterile area" and stand in the lane for pedestrians entering Nablus.
3 pedestrian-lanes + one"humanitarian".
Between 30-50 people waiting in line.
The usual yelling MP-girl,(maybe slightly less loud?).
The army-appointed-arab-checkpoint-cleaner works with his squeegee on the amounts of rainwater that gathered on the concrete floor of the newly erected, but in essence identical checkpoint. Streams of mud and debris are being wriggled between the legs of the to-be-inspected Palestinians. Needless to say that when bags have to be unpacked for checking, goods are being dropped in the wet muck, as the counter close to the MP is too narrow or the available table to far to see anything. And all bags and cases have to be emptied completely and checked for fear of false-bottoms.
Shirts have to be lifted, legs to be bared, pockets emptied, belts removed, followed by the "360-degree-dance".
>Cars can enter Nablus unchecked, exiting traffic is being checked very thoroughly.
Both checking booths are decorated by 2 little flags each, donated by "the Blue-and White women" with sweet words for the soldiers.
Xray truck is there but not the dog trainer with her dog.
9.00 Beit Furik:
We are offered the choice between :
- on the left side of the almost deserted checkpoint:"the blessing of the Messiah" and
- on the right, an interesting army-flag with the company-symbol of a large eagle with text that hangs from the watchtower and a board with similar graphics standing at it's bottom:
"Operational 90 - Wild Animals"
hardly any checking for exiting traffic and free entrance to Nablus..
9.15 Awarta: >checking as at Beth Furik.
one detainee in the "Waiting area" (oh, those wonderful ways with words!): a taxidriver who came too close to the exiting pedestrian-carroussel, which is "forbidden - for security reasons" as : ".. someone can easily pass on explosives, without us noticing it..." as the friendly and polite officer explained when I brought to his attention that detention as punishment is not according to the army-regulations.
He promised not to keep him there long and kept his word: the driver was let free a few minutes later.
The parking area is much less crowded as traffic into Nablus is now free and the various stalls are no longer allowed, one is only able to buy a cup of tea or coffee.
At the entrance of Beita a hummer is checking randomly cars. "We bother him in fulfilling his task....." and so we leave.