Northern Checkpoints:  This is how the army captures illegals, detains them, punishes them and releases them

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Rachel W. and Ruti T. (Reporting) Marcia L., Translation

15:00 – On the way to Harish Checkpoint

In the section between Barta’a Checkpoint to the bridge (below which the old road twists between Kafin and Ya’bed), we saw from a distance, a large army vehicle that turned out to be a vehicle for prisoners.  In front of our eyes, four young prisoners got out and immediately after them, a female soldier.  We by-passed them but decided to stop and watch what happens.  As we approached on foot, the vehicle turned around and traveled back in the direction of the checkpoint.  We met the young men; one of them was 13, tall and with the face of a child.  They were without permits (illegals) and were caught at 06:00 that morning in Hadera. Since then, according to them, they were handcuffed for nine hours (they showed us the red marks) and blindfolded and each one also received an “educational” slap on the cheek”.  The female soldier released them more or less in the middle of nowhere but they calmed us down by telling us they were OK and they went down from the bridge via the dirt road blocked to cars, and traveled from there to home in Kafin.

We suspected that we were witness to a shameful illegal act by the army that tried, on its own, to secretly release someone seized early in the morning, who was detained, arrested and punished.  (By accident, we had the opportunity to see it.)  Disgraceful.

15:10 – Harish Checkpoint

The checkpoint was open to traffic.

15:20 – Ya’bed-Dotan Checkpoint

We spoke with the sergeant who showed interest in the story above and when we told him that we had to return to explain that army control of one nation over another is a crime, it was important to him to tell us about humanity at the checkpoints.  Not long ago, when there was a shooting incident in the area of Shechem and there was a curfew imposed, he permitted, against instructions, the transportation of sick children to the hospital.  And when his soldiers received cakes and drinks from the women of one of the settlements, he passed them over to the Palestinian families that waited long hours in their cars.

15:50 – Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint

Routine. Returning home from work.

16:15 – Tura-Shaked Checkpoint

Here also paratroopers were involved as well as the military police who did not want to speak with us about the incident in Qasim with the cartons of broken glass.  “That is in the care of the army spokesman.  Refer to him.  And I said to leave the checkpoint.”