'Atara, Beit Furik, Beit Iba, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), יום ש' 7.3.09, בוקר
Translation: Suzanne O.
The shift was from 6:00 a.m. to 1.15 p.m.
Summary: Those parts of the West Bank which we observed today gave the impression that there no one is left in the West Bank - the roadblocks were empty, very few cars in the queues and almost no pedestrians. It is difficult to say why - is it because there is a general strike or because it is the beginning of a long weekend (Monday is the birthday of the Prophet and schools are closed and many organisations are making it a long weekend) - we were unable to shed any light on the matter.
It is staffed but with a minimal inspection and the crossing is without hold-ups.
There are 6 cars in the queue from north to south; from west to east it is empty. A bus is inspected which took about 5 minutes. There are almost no pedestrians. Many taxis wait in vain for passengers. Here and there a student crosses plus a few others. From the direction of Sara there is almost no traffic. We found out that those coming from that direction are inspected near the village.
After a period of many years we met an acquaintance, a very elderly woman who had difficulties walking but who was happy to meet us. She wanted to know if one of us would live to see the end of the occupation. We were both doubtful.
There are two lanes open for cars from the direction of Nablus to the south. There is no dog. The queue is short - we counted 17 cars. It took 25 minutes until they reached the inspection point. Each inspection took an average of 4 minutes. Palestinian citizens of Israel were stopped for a minute while they were told they had to return the same day. We counted 22 cars with Israeli number plates.
The roadblock is empty, there are practically no people coming or going. In the young men's queue there were not more than 10 people the whole time we were there. The inspection of baggage continues to be scandalous.
In the car park there are a lot of taxis without work. The market has expanded - but only sweets, coffee and sandwiches are sold.
Two huge lorries are held up on the road. They drove over the apartheid Madison way without permission. Our attempts to cut down their punishment time were not well received. We decided to leave after a time in the hope that without our presence the soldiers would get fed up and allow the drivers to leave before the three hours were up. The roadblock commander came over to find out who we were but, apart from that, we did not exchange a word.