'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 5.1.09, Afternoon
The main points:
The order of the brigade commander as to THE STERILE AREA.
Checking of IDs at Beit Furik.
13.50 The Shomron crossing (Qasem). The eastern checkpoint is open now and also at 17.10.
Kif al Hares. A Hummer and soldiers under the watch tower. No Palestinian cars.
14.06 Za'tara. From the west no cars.
From the north passengers of a bus stand in the parking lot. 27 cars from the north and one checking area.
The changes which the checkpoint is undergoing are noticeable. Next to a pile of rubbish, next to the parking lot, scrap iron, cement blocks of all shapes, broken asphalt raise a feeling of an animated film, E-wall .
In the new checking area is a green sign "checking area for women. From one side and "waiting area" on the other. Maybe there was not enough money for a sign because it has been painted directly on the wall in red paint And in added to this a yellow iron gate at the entrance to the town.
Captain I., the commander of the military police informed us, while pointing to a page which was pasted next to the checking area, that civilians (?!) are not allowed to stand in the "sterile area" . (Interesting to know whether this is an order which also applied to women in blue and white whose flags fly from the checking area of cars . There are about 50 people in the line.
The DCO representative, staff sergeant A. checks those passing in the humanitarian line. This includes poking around in their possessions. He says that because most of those leaving the city do so in their cars there is less pressure at the checkpoint. But all the same it does not seem that there are less cars. Maybe because many of the residents of Nablus and the neighboring villages can not use their cars because they do not have a permit.
14.50 20 people in line.
At the checking area there is a long line of cars exiting and it seems to us that there are about 25.
15.30 We left.
A long line of cars and this was the case when we returned from Beit Furik. But it does not seem that the delay is longer than it takes to check the IDs.
And at the settlement of Yitamar there are many new buildings which we have not seen previously.
15.40 Beit Furik.
Cars and people coming from Nablus are checked. Those going to Nablus drive in freely. When we arrived there was a taxi at the checkpoint and the passengers told us that they had been waiting half an hour. Their IDs are being checked. We phoned Z.( from the DCO) who said that there are alerts which concern those wanted according to the list of suspects' names. We said that the baggage compartment was also being checked. He said it was a random check. Truly there were cars that were not checked.
16.03 The Ids are returned and we and the passengers go on our way.
16.50 Opposite Beita is a border police car.
16.55 Za'tara. 24 cars from the north, 18 from the west.
16.58 An army car next to the dust mound which blocks the road to Zeita.
17.00 Kif al Hares . No military car and no soldiers on the road leading to the village.