Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 20.1.08, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
There are no cars from the east. At the northern roadblock - a bus facing south is parked, its passengers beside it. By the time we get there the passengers return to the bus and it leaves the roadblock.
The soldiers are paratroopers, reservists. Three lanes plus a humanitarian lane are functioning.
On the way to Huwwara we count 18 cars in the queue.
There are five vehicles in the queue. We approach the checkpoint. The roadblock commander, D., demands that we retreat to the edge of the roadblock, the reason of course is that we are interfering with their work. We try to prove to him that we are not interfering from where we stand, obviously to no avail and when we insist on staying put D., shouts across to the soldier inspecting: Tomer, stop! Meaning, stop inspections. How easily the IDF is prepared to stop the inspections of those crossing the roadblock. With no alternative, we retreat.
There are some 20 pedestrians. The wait is short. There is a new practice for drivers: they are required to stop a few metres before the inspection point, get out of the car, go up to the soldiers, show their papers, usually the soldiers speak to them for a few minutes, probably examine them, and return to the car with the soldier who inspects the car, a superficial inspection and then they are permitted to cross. A driver we spoke to told us that the situation is better today, the wait is shorter than in the past, about 10 minutes only.
There are no lorries in the direction of Nablus, 5 vehicles in the queue from Nablus.
There are about 80 or even 100 people crowded in the queue for Nablus, the queue to enter the only turnstile absolutely does not move forward.
In the queue to leave Nablus there are about 20 people; only one lane is functioning. When we went over to the checkpoint, to find out why only one lane is functioning, the military policewoman shouted at us: What do you want? Do you want to guard me? It appears that she had no soldier to guard her. He returned within a few minutes and two lanes functioned.
We see Lieutenant Rudi from the DCO get out of his vehicle, hurry over to the roadblock commander, Y., exchange a few words, run round the queue to Nablus, call those queuing and let them cross via the western side of the roadblock. For the rest of the shift there was no more crowding at the entrance to Nablus.
A Palestinian comes over to us. He crossed the roadblock yesterday and forgot to take his I.D. card after he had taken his luggage to put through the x-ray machine. The military policewoman immediately ‘threw out' a suggestion: It's probably at the DCO; he should go there. Y., the commander, whom we approached, searched for, found the document, and gave it to the man.
The soldier inspecting the vehicles entering Nablus holds his weapon on the concrete barrier and aims it at the vehicles.
The soldier inspecting vehicles left the checkpoint: two cars arrive, and wait. We approach the roadblock to report the cars to the soldiers. The military policewoman, rudely: Go back to the red line! When we did not rush to carry out her order she began to screech at the commander to come and take control of us. (He did not come; we retreated behind the line.)
We left the roadblock