Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 19.4.09, Afternoon
Translation: Tal H.
14:50 Tapuach Zaatara Junction Checkpoint
Hardly any cars waiting for inspection.
Passing through Huwwara town we see Border Patrolmen practically taking apart everything in a vehicle with Israeli license plates.
15:15 - 15:45 Beit Furik Checkpoint
A van with Israeli license plates is parked inside the checkpoint entrance, beside it ten Palestinians young men are seated - they have been detained since 12:00, we are told both by them and by the present First Sergeant who approaches to find out what we're doing there. Asking him what they're accused of, we are told they were caught on the road out of bounds for Palestinians (the army calls it "Madison Road"). The driver is a resident of Shuafat (East Jerusalem) and is not familiar with the area and its segregation. The workers from Beit Furik, were trying to reach their work place in Ramallah.
We called the army hotline to report this punitive, extended detention. Later the detainees reported to us by phone they were released close to 16:40!
Cars are checked (IDs) once in a while. When the driver inches slowly and cautiously to a halt, unsure whether he'll be required to stop and present papers, the soldiers nervously and aggressively yell at him to move on already. On the other hand if he moves relatively quickly assuming he will not be checked, naturally they bark at him to slow down. "Whoaaaaaa!"
Just as the soldiers do in Huwwara Checkpoint, regulating the pedestrian traffic.
15:55 Huwwara Checkpoint
X-ray truck inactive, dog+trainer active.
As we arrive, the pedestrian lines are not very long, waiting time for the men - about 20 minutes.
The usual power games are taking place between the securing soldier and the taxi drivers inside the Nablus side who keep trying to approach the entry turnstile and hunt passengers needing a ride into town. When the soldier looks their way and begins moving towards them, they skitter off so as not to be detained for 'disturbing the pedestrians' and 'endangering the soldiers'. When the soldier turns back into the compound, they hurry back. The ritual is familiar and amuses everyone looking on.
Vehicle inspections: about 20 minutes average waiting time, the dog inspects about one in every four vehicles.
We left after 17:00.