Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 10.2.09, Afternoon
Translation: Hanna K.
Because of the elections in Israel there is a curfew in the whole West Bank. From yesterday at midnight, till today midnight.
13:00 Samaria Gate, We enter Palestine
13:25 Za'tara (Tapuah)
On the station which greets the drivers coming from the west there are posters of the National Union (since when can the IDF property serve as a bulletin board for political messages?). At the parking lot there is a taxi in which, apart from the driver, there are four passengers, three of which are elderly, over seventy years old. They sit cramped in the rear seat. The ID card of the driver was taken for checking. Ten minutes later they are allowed to pass. A truck driver who was asked to wait in the same manner, was released after twenty minutes.
We got a letter from the soldiers, dated 30 July 2008, signed by Itizik Bar, coloner, brigadier commander of Samaria. In the letter the dear citizens are requested not to cross the "security coordination line", for their own security and in order not to disturb the soldiers and the smooth functioning of the CP.
We kept a copy of the letter.
13:50 Beit Furik
It is quite amazing to see the Beit Furik CP open for traffic.
We saw here Palestinians detained for hours in the enclosure, stoppage of life, soldiers abusing pedestrians, thorough checking of vehicles. Soldiers once checked here the books of students, to ascertain that there was no propaganda material in them.
Even the Koran was checked. And now - it is open.
Could it be that is wasn't necessary in the first place?
At the new CP, built in such a way that in one moment it can be closed and confine the people standing in it, there are three checking stations active, and another station which the soldiers call "humanitarian".
The pedestrians' queue is long. They pass under metal detectors, the men put on their belts and watches on the other side of the CP. The soldiers sit in a secure station, and receive the ID cards for checking.
Today there is a heavy rain, and the CP is full of puddles. The pedestrians jump over them, trying to get wet as little as possible.
At the entrance to Nablus the vehicle traffic is without checking. At the exit from town the flow of vehicles is incessant. ID cards and papers are handed to the soldiers at the station.
From the DCO representative S., we heard that in two months the Huwwara CP will be removed. (???)
The passage of vehicles will be without checking,!!! while pedestrian traffic will not be allowed (probably as we saw earlier today at Beit Furik). One of the soldiers (refused to give us his name. He reads our site, finds there names of soldiers and isn't prepared to see his name there) swears that Condolissa Reiss funded the building of the new CP which will be closed after three months of activity.!!!
"this wasn't built from my parents' taxes" he says with deep conviction.
The soldiers insist that we move away from the area of the CP defined today as "sterile". They showed us the decree of colonel Itzik Bar, hanging on one of the stations, limiting the entrance of Israelis to the CP.
Did we act contrary to the law of the Knesset? We asked but colonel Bar is the authority here. They call the civil police. Policeman Benjamin Alamo takes our IDs, check whatever he checks at the patrol vehice (criminal record probably). He insists that we have to leave. It seems the policeman does not know the low very well. From words exchanged with him it transpires that he does not understand terms like Brigadier Decree and Closed Military Area. We left the CP a bit after 15:00, disagreeing between ourselves about the best action to take in this case.
14:38 A young detainee "bingo", he is on the list.
16:05 Za'tara (Tapuah) -
Eight vehicles in the queue in the direction of Ramallah, one vehicle in the checking post for those coming from the west.