'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 26.2.09, Morning
Translator: Charls K
6:20 Shomron Gate. No police.
6:35 Marda. The gates are open. Zeita - blocked as usual.
Two pickup trucks coming from the west have been detained, a police car next to them.
One of the drivers doesn't have his driver's license with him. He says he forgot it at home. The soldiers say they saw he didn't know how to drive, and called the police.
There's a 15-year-old youth in the second pickup truck (that's loaded with bags of used clothing bought in Ariel) who doesn't have an ID card yet. He has a birth certificate, but without a parent accompanying him the soldiers don't believe he isn't 16. They took his birth certificate (that's in Arabic) to check.
7:10 The youth gets back his birth certificate and the vehicle is released to continue on its way.
The driver without a driver's license is transferred to the parking lot, along with his car. One of the passengers, who has to get to the hospital, gets out and walks over to find a ride in another vehicle. He goes around the circular perimeter of the parking lot . Apparently he's forbidden to cross through the lot, which is, of course, a military area!
A car with five men coming from Nablus is directed to the lot for inspection. The men get out and are moved away from the vehicle. There's no dog handler.
7:20 Opposite the entrance to Beita, the military police detains a taxi.
7:25 Awarta. No line of cars.
7:25 Beit Furik. Three soldiers, who aren't checking cars.
The phone number of the DCO is posted on the yellow gate at the entrance to the village.
Two vehicle lanes open. Passengers have to get out for inspection. There's usually between 4 and 8 vehicles on line at any one time, and the drivers tell us that it takes about 5 minutes to go through.
30-40 people waiting to go through on foot. Inspections are slow, and people have to lift their shirt, turn around, and lift their pants legs. A guy who handed over his ID has "disappeared." When he returns, it turns out that he went in search of the officer. A minor brouhaha, the checkpoint is closed, he's made to remove his shoes, released and life goes on.
The commander chases away the taxi drivers coming from Nablus who come near the entrance to Nablus in order to snatch riders.
8:55 Za'tara. The Israeli police are still there. No line of cars.
8:55 Shomron Gate.
Two trucks waiting from the west, and three cars belonging to Palestinian Israelis are being inspected by the police.
A very long line of cars at the entrance to Palestine.