Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 12.4.09, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
There are 24 vehicles from the west and 10 from the north. A bus is parked in the car park, its passengers are inside. When we reach it the roadblock commander comes over, a captain in the paratroops, holding the passengers' documents, he returns them and the bus continues on its way.
The cars from the north are inspected quickly in two lanes. The traffic towards the roadblock from the direction of Huwwara is heavy.
A bus is parked; its passengers are taken off for inspection by the Border Police. We did not manage to find out the reason; the soldiers we approached were not prepared to explain it to us. Other vehicles crossing were not stopped.
There are fewer taxis in the car park than usual.
A young man from Bethlehem stops us saying, in good Hebrew, that he is most grateful to our women and he will never forget how we helped him: 4 years ago he needed to get to Nablus to attend a party held for his marriage to a girl from Nablus. He was not allowed to cross and a member of MachsomWatch (apparently Chana B.) requested and pleaded and begged the soldiers for 4 hours, until they let him cross. In addition, Sylvia P., managed to get him a magnetic card.
The traffic of pedestrians into Nablus is heavy. Drivers without work (on the Nablus side) approach the turnstile, crowding those crossing, trying to get a fare.
There are few people at the turnstiles but this does not prevent the female soldier from screaming at them.
About 25 vehicles are queuing at the exit from Nablus. 2 lanes are open, the x-ray machine is present, working, but all the while we are there it is not used.
The inspection time varies, usually it is quick, about a minute and a half or two minutes, but it took 6 minutes for one station wagon to be inspected.
Abu Roken arrives at the roadblock. He asks if everything is OK. Regarding our comment on the length of the queue of cars he is unable to do anything as there are not enough soldiers to staff another lane. However, T., the DCO representative promises to help. He goes over to those inspecting and it appears that the inspections are done continuously and slightly faster.
A station wagon full of passengers bursts out of the queue at speed (perhaps VIPs?). The soldiers chat to the driver and let him through. Another car which leaves the queue is forced to turn back.
A bus, which we monitor, is in the queue for about half an hour.
One of the cars, for some undefined reason, has its passengers alight several metres before the roadblock, and its driver proceeds towards the roadblock while lifting his jacket and turning around.
A lorry loaded with a crane tries to cross into Nablus, a soldier gestures from a distance for it to turn around and it leaves the roadblock.
Although the vehicles are inspected quickly, additional vehicles arrive and they still number about 25. B., the roadblock commander, tells us that when he can, he opens an additional inspection lane. Thus, according to him, it was this morning when there was a big traffic jam.
There are about 10 people at the turnstiles.
We leave the roadblock.