Beit Furik, Huwwara, Wed 7.1.09, Afternoon

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Nava M., Sarah K. (reporting)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Translator:  Charles K.

14:10  Za'tara junction - 12 vehicles from the east, 8 from the north.

Two vehicle inspection lanes open.

14:20  Huwwara checkpoint is very quiet.  About 30 people waiting on the men's line.  The line in the fast lane usually proceeds quickly.  One detainee in the inspection booth - the commander says he'll be arrested for attacking an officer.

25 people in the detaineesinfo-icon shed.  From time to time they're taken to talk to the GSS representative.

The wife of one of them, and his father, wait off to one side.  The woman is pregnant, says she's been waiting more than an hour and she's weak.  Her husband works in Abu Dhabi and is here for a visit of just two weeks. 

14:30  A young man accompanies his aunt, carrying her packages.  A female MP wants him to take everything out of the suitcases and bags.  He speaks Hebrew, and tries to explain that the bags contain only clothes.  She yells that she's not a friend of his, and that he should do what he's told.  Meanwhile, the fast lane is being held up.

When the inspection ends, the youth accompanies his aunt and returns to wait on the men's line.

A female MP decides to let the women waiting on line go through without inspection.

Every few minutes she calls out to the people waiting in the fast lane to move back, and stops checking people until they're far enough away for her.

14:45  A man arrives carrying a computer.  The female soldier informs him that computers can't go through, and sends him to wait on the men's line.  After waiting there 40 minutes they let him bring it through only after another Palestinian helps him to remove the cover of the computer so that the inside can be inspected.

15:30  The female MP stops the line occasionally and yells at people waiting to move back
A Palestinian woman had advanced to the inspection booth because she thought that the people in front of her were finished.  But they have packages, and the inspection takes a long time.  The MP gets angry at her and makes her go back.  As punishment, she allows only the men to go through.  She begins letting the women through only ten minutes later.  To teach the woman a lesson she also makes her open her purse, take everything out and show her.  Finally she indifferently tosses the woman's ID card onto the table.

And again, suddenly - she decides to let all the waiting women go through without inspection.

15:40  Two men from East Jerusalem with blue ID cards come from the fast lane to be checked.  One is 36 years old and is told to go to the men's line.  He refuses and explains that he always goes through the fast lane, because he has a blue ID card.  And, in fact, people with blue ID cards went through the fast lane.  The soldier refuses, and the Palestinian demands to see the person in charge.  Meanwhile, he waits off to the side.  After a few minues A., from the DCO, and the checkpoint commander arrive.  After an argument the young man is forced to go to the men's line.

The female MP gets angry, loudly, at the checkpoint commander for not consulting her.  He tries to calm her down (not for the first time), and asks her to take it easy.

16:00  No one waiting in the fast lane.  Whoever arrives goes through immediately.

About 10 people waiting on the men's line.

3 detainees still waiting in the shed.  All the rest have been released after waiting at least 2 ½ hours. 
Eight vehicles on the exit line from Nablus.  The inspection is rigorous, but after a few minutes they go through.

16:10  Beit Furik -  Soldiers randomly inspect vehicles going through.

A taxi is detained for a longer check.

A soldier comes over to us to determine who we are, and is satisfied by the answer.

16:30  Huwwara village will be under curfew starting at 17:00.  All the stores close so their owners can get home on time.