Afternoon

11/11/2003
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Observers: A. C. A.G. E. M .D. B.A nerve -wrecking and frustrating session, with very few results. On the whole most people are allowed to pass.Please note- Mevoh Itzhar that was evacuated so vociferously a few months ago is alive and kicking and expanding.13.20 The Za’atra (Tapuach) junction – along line of southbound cars, are allowed through but slowly. An DCA officer is very helpful, and has a good attitude towards the Palestinians and to us.Itzhar junction – Halleluiah! The checkpoint has been removed.Huwarra checkpoint- south- sparse traffic, moves smoothly no problems, so the Palestinians suggest we move to the north side.Huwarra north – a big “mess” many people, mostly women crowd ed and pushing; the commander tries to push us away from the checkpoint, when we refuse he threatens to call the blue police. Ofer intervenes and confirms that the colonel allows us to stand there. He gives up but is definitely unpleasant to us and to the locals. Ofer is busy checking documents at 2.30there is a change of guard, the soldiers are only 3 + the commander who does nothing. Pressure increases, I try to approach the commander regarding more soldiers, he answers that he constantly requests additional help which is denied him. A kid has his cart confiscated, certain things can only be carried across with special permits. The kid waits a long time, we couldn’t help him.2 men and a women were detained for an hour- an hour and a half each time because they tried to bypass the post and the long queue. Our attempts to assist them were worthless. A soldier aims a gun at people’s heads, which seems to me like a machine gun, as I took a photo. The commander shouted “don’t aim at the heads, they are taking photographs”. The soldier did not lower the gun. A Palestinian with a blue i.d. s detained for 4 hours. The commander claimed it was forged as he also had a students i.d. from Nablus how can an Israeli study in Nablus said the soldier, who later added that the computer showed no identical number. We could not approach the guy, but I did for a few minutes to give the Moked card, after having called them myself. At 4.30 we left after the last of the i.d.s was returned to the detaineesinfo-icon.Zaatra junction -a long line of cars and a longer one of pedestrians. Soldiers converse with each other, we approach and ask why they let people wait, they resume checking and allow passage.