Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 18.3.09, Afternoon
We were told that since the closing of the checkpoint at Beit Iba and that the passage there is open the pressures on this Huwwara CP has lessened. In the shed were few young people who were checked according to the whim of the soldiers (military police). Sometimes there was no checking and sometimes a young man with a close filling t-shirt to lift it and turn. That is the logic of the checkpoint, but dafke the humanitarian line was very crowded even though that also passed fairly quickly but the military policeman here was evidently a representative of the educational captain and all the time was busy educating and more about that later.
14.15 The Shomron crossing where the traffic is flowing in both directions.
Beita is open. Two gates at Marda are open. Zeita is closed.
14.35 Crossroads of Za'tara/Tapuach are empty in all directions but from the direction of Huwwara about 20 cars (which had already been checked at Huwwara.
When we arrived at the checkpoint the commander, G. came up to us and after greeting us told us to stand in "your place" from which it was difficult to see and watch. From time to time we tried to improve our position with small success. A young man arrived together with a younger brother who did not have his papers. They had gone through that morning to a doctor and no one had stopped them. (At the entrance to Nablus there is no check). They wanted to go home but the younger one was not allowed to pass (there are rules and without papers there is no passage). We took the phone number of the father from the older brother who spoke good Hebrew and got his ID and his name. Because the DCO representative was no available we turned to A., the captain of the Nablus DCO and told him the story. He immediately came to our aid and brought the DCO to the checkpoint N. to solve the problem of the lack of papers. All the time Hamdan helped us and was very efficient. The DCO representative solved that problem and the two brothers went on their way home.
In the meantime we saw that the women's line was stuck and that the military policeman had decided to educate them and to teach the girls how the checkpoint was run and so he had stopped the line and was letting the men through. We asked for an explanation and were told that he did not owe us an explanation and so we turned again to A. from the DCO for help. He arrived very quickly and taught the soldiers how the place was run and immediately the line of women emptied and we were very grateful to him as he had carried out his duties. When we left there were only a few people passing and the cars passed and were hardly stopped.
16.25 Beit Furik. There are soldiers present but the traffic is flowing.
16.45 On our way home we saw that there was a line of about 40 cars exiting Huwwara.
Other places there were no changes about entering villages.
17.00 The Shomron passage is flowing.
17.15 Azzun Atma, the new checkpoint. We met three workers waiting to be taken to Kibbutz Einat for the night shift and they told us of their difficulties even though they have permits to enter Israel. They often miss a day of work because of the checkpoint, so depressing. We approached two soldiers, a man and a woman who were standing next to some cement blocks checking those entering the village to make sure that all had permits and very soon the line emptied out behind which was a metal gate similar to the gate at the entrance to Jubara. After a short conversation with the soldeirs we were glad to go home.