Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 27.1.09, Afternoon
Two boys were caught throwing stones and two that were next to them. Near to the crossroads at the continuation of road 505 to Magdal. Four lads handcuffed and seated on the pavement. Because the police did not come to fetch them we spent most of our time watching what would be done with them and when.
13.55 We see that the boys are sitting in a strange manner on the pavement and soldiers garding them.
We get out of the car and cross the checkpoint to them and the soldiers rush to us, touching and pushing us from the place very rudely. When I find out who the commander is their hands are kept on their guns.
Two boys had thrown stones at passing cars, and two were next to them. All were handcuffed and are sitting in a line. Two soldiers are posted next to them and every now and again tell them to put their heads down. A soldier puts an empty coca cola bottle next to the legs of one of them and tells them where to look.
The captains try to chase us away saying it is a closed army area but after a while gave it up.
The commander, captain A, says "I have already called the police whose job it is to interrogate them."
This we hear several times but the policemen, who were in the CP are too busy taking fines from drivers who hardly make a living and taxi drivers with beat up cars. Their eyes are busy with a car which has a seating area in place of a makeshift engine. "Avi come and see this sight ( policeman to policeman). And in the meantime dog trainers go from car to car sniffing while the passengers alight and wait at a distance.
The handcuffs hurt the arrested boys and the soldirs try to improve this and this takes time and hurts the boys.
15.35 An army jeep with the brigade commander and two of his second in command arrives.
He again tries to drive us from the "closed army area" where the settlers have their shop. A short argument. Without a written order we cannot accept this. He gives up. He phones and phones the police to come but there are no police and the boys are being punished. A conversation with the lieutenant commander who is surprised at our point of view. He is on reserve and his occupation is that of a marketer. "How would you sell the checkpoints overseas?" For a moment this stops him in the middle of his flow and tries to understand our point of view, But all this does not help. The boys are placed in the shed under the sentry tower to sit there.
It is cold and later we leave after TWO AND A HALF HOURS, with captains of high rank in the area who cannot get hold of the police. We hope that they will restrand the attitude of the two soldiers who are guarding the boys. We go on to Huwwara.
3 lines and one humanitarian. Most of those exiting are students. About 100 stand in the lines. They say they have been waiting an hour. In the humanitarian line is a vulgar woman soldier who touches the people and pushes them back because they have not stood on the red line? Yifat complains to a soldier and he stops the line to preach to us. A young man comes to me and says "The checkpoint is a university. We learn here how to kill life." I remember him from the last time at the checkpoint when he came to me in a surprise move saying "Why did Hitler leave 10% of the Jews alive?"
We go to see the car line. From a distance a soldier arrives and sends us to stand behind the frog bin. Immediately a policeman comes. (How come here the police can arrive so quickly? He enters into a wearisome argument that we must move away behind the cement blocks and not bother the traffic. In the meantime night falls and the soldiers are busy with us instead of the lines. The argument ends with our details being taken. We go back to Za'tara.
The CP is empty of settlers. Cold and dark. ONLY THE FOUR BOYS STILL SIT THERE FREEZING AND THE CAPTAIN SAYS THAT THE POLICE HAVE STILL NOT COME.
We phone the centre again to Zaharani and Ditza.
We managed to get the telephone from one of the handcuffed boys.
19.00 We leave in a terrible mood. Hanna B. phones to say that Zaharani is on his way there.
21.30 I phone the boy who gave me his number but it is a mistake and a young man from Tulkarm answers.
22.15 I phone the centre, to Zaharani to hear if the saga has ended. He says that when he arrived they were taken to the brigade and then freeds