'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 10.3.09, Afternoon
Translation: Hanna K.
Purim. As in all Jewish Holidays there is a curfew in the West Bank.
13:45 Samaria Gate, we enter Palestine
14:05 Za'tara (Tapuah)
There are no people coming from the west and the north, most vehicles pass without checking with a sign of the hand by a soldier. A taxi in which there are five young men stops to talk to the soldiers. On the station for vehicles coming from the west there are still posters of the "National Union" (since the elections they have been there. Army property serves a political party for its propaganda).
Theree soldiers man the new CP. There are three vehicles waiting. A new item - yellow iron barriers have been put up. That's to say that sometime the authority will decide to close the way. For part of the day, for a whole day, for one day, for a month, one cannot know.
14:30 Beit Furik
The CP was opened for traffic two months ago. Part of the CP which was intended for the passage of pedestrians is closed, but, surprise, vehicles from both directions are being checked. Three soldiers check ID cars and papers of the drivers. The checking is slow, and very quickly a queue forms. At the entrance to Nablus there are three vehicles, at the exit - five.
The soldiers behave towards us in a very violent manner - "you are not allowed to be here(a moment after we turned to go he made a sign with his hand that we should wait) fuck you, you have no right to take photographs, because I shall break your bones, fuck you mother, until she will have a son in the army she will not understand, only today we caught two boys" etc.
Three checking posts are active and another one which is called by the soldiers "humanitarian". The men's queue doesn't get shorter, the men pass the CP and others arrive. Riva measured a waiting period of about an hour, we heard the same estimate from two men. The men pass under a metal detector, come up to the post, show their IDs. On the other side of the CP they put on their belts and walethes. The "humanitarian" queue was empty most of the time. Filled up a little after 15:30. A signpost of the right wing organizations "many thanks to Watch at the CP for their help towards the success of our struggle - the terrorist organizations" - it concels the commande of coloner Itzik Bar according to which the presence of civilians in the sterile area is forbidden. Since when can army property serve as a bulleting board for the distribution of idelogical propaganda?
At the entrance to Nablus vehicles pass without being checked. A vehicle with a yellow plate, probably belonging to an Israeli-Palestinian, is made to return. The entrance to Nablus is forbidden for him. At the exit from the town there is a congestion, we can count 25 vehicles but one cannot see the end of the queue.There are two checking stations, IDs and papers are handed to the soldier in the work-station. Passengers wait at a distance from the station and approach only after the checking of the driver is completer. There is an x-ray vehicle.
On the path entering Nablus window boxes have been added, they bloom in purple. We looked on in astonishement. Three men came to us and told us the Palestinian folk story. A hunter went to the forest and saw two birds on a tree. He shoots at one of them. A bird which hid behind the tree looks at the bleeding bird and tells her friend, look tears are rolling from her eyes. The bird answers, don't look at her eyes, look at his gun. Before they went away the three men said "welcome" to us. We thought how nice it was that they, the locals, greet us, the strangers.
15:00 Two soldiers lead a young man of about twenty five out of the CP, through a side gate, to the path leading to Nablus, and up to the parking lot on the side of the CP near Nablus. Riva: "what is the matter, are we from the human rights organization?" One of the soldiers: "we are not an organization, we are the army". After about six minutes of talk at the parking lot, they lead the young man back to the queue.
The DCO S., told us that the young man has not identification. He tried to pass three time. If so, we cannot understand why the soldiers brought him back to the queue. We understood even less why the young man passed the fourth time (in what way is the fourth time different from the three others?). We asked the DCO also about the two detainees in the detention cell. He told us that they are taxi drivers and that they are detained for a quarter of an hour. Why? He didn't answer. At 16:10 when we left the two men are still in the cell. It has probably to do with the well know taxi driver issue. They stand near the turnstile leading to Nablus to catch passengers. Their proximity to the CP is not regarded favourably by the soldiers. The DCO says that "the people" (meaning the Palestinians) also said that it disturbs them because they block the narrow path which the planner of the CP had devises. The soldiers, according to him, only do what the people want. The subjects, one must assume, thank the sovereign.
16:40 Za'tara (Tapuah) seven vehicles at the station for vehicles coming from the north, there are no vehicles from the west.