'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 24.3.09, Afternoon
13:15 Sha'ar Shomron where we entered Palestine.
13.30 Za'tara (Tapuach) empty from the went and 15 cars from the north.
13.45 Beita. Hummer with three soldiers checking cars exiting the village randomly. "Just as in Israel a policeman checks you once in a while, so here we also check once in a while." Normality of the occupations
At 16.00 we went back and the road was open.
14.00 Awarta. 3 cars and IDs were checked.
Opposite the entrance to Yitamar is a Hummer and we saw another two on the apartheid road.
14.05 Beit Furik.
Cars were check at random. A detainee who had been there about 15 minutes, a young man who had forgotten his ID at home and someone would come from his home to bring it to him.
"Thank God that I am a Jew and not an Arab and so I do not need to know why the Intifada began," said to Macky one of the soldiers. We were again annoyed to see how little the soldiers knew about the history of the conflict and also how few of them were prepared to learn anything about it.
I spoke to a soldier who knew more and he admitted that we were carrying out a policy of apartheid on the West Bank (he used that term, not I). But he said that there was no other way.
The car passage. Random check of those entering Nablus. Passengers of a bus had to get out and to go through on foot. The bus waited at the other side for them.
At the exit 13 cars. A dog was checking. People waited at a distance from the posts and came up one by one when the driver had been checked. A physical check...shirt and trousers lifted, a turn about at the place. Bags checked at the x-ray machine.
At the pedestrian passage three posts where working and another one which the soldiers call the humanitarian, The men go through the x-ray device. Go up to the post, show their ID and on the other side put on their belts and watches. Announcements of "one by one, you man go back, " in the usual beastly tones. The checkpoint is nearly empty. There was even a moment when only one man was in the shed. The reason is obvious. The checkpoint at Beit Iba is open and so only people who live near the checkpoint come here...Huwwara, Bruin. Odella and Awarta for whom it means another long distance if they go through Beit Iba.
When we arrived there was a taxi driver in the isolation and he was freed a few minutes later.
He had been there 10 minutes. The usual argument when taxi drivers come too near the checkpoint looking for passengers. Today the drivers were more obedient than usual. They stand outside the line which the soldiers have made for them. One soldier explains that it is forbidden for them to come close to the checkpoint.
We said,"It is not forbidden. This is their home and they are allowed to move. There is no law against it." The soldier thinks for a minute and says, "It is not a law. It is a request. There is a line and we asked them not to pass over it and they ignore this. "
When we arrived there was an argument between the soldiers and a young man about who should clean the puddles. Those who built the new Huwwara checkpoint had not thought about what should be done if it rained. The checkpoint is full of puddles around the turnstiles and also in the area near the posts where the men have to stand when they hand over their IDs. When they see us the argument comes to an end and the young man goes on his way.
Also when we arrived a taxi driver who is a friend and with whom I am in contact told us that the soldiers told him that the checkpoint at Huwwara would close on the 1st of April. Because the checkpoint at Beit Iba had closed he looked at us with eyes full of hope. We said that we had heard that there was a possibility but it was hard to believe that it would happen in the near future. We explained to him about the habit of lying in Israel on the 1st of April ( and not only then). How the cheating soldier fooled him.........
16.05 Za'tara (Tapuach) . One taxi only at the north, the dogtrainer present and 3 cars from the West.