Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Jit, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 1.4.08, Afternoon
Translation: Yfat D.
13:45 The road to the village of Zeita has been blocked by the army using giant cement blocks. Many Palestinian cars are parked by the gate.
14:04 At the Za'tara Junction CP there are few cars. A change of shift is taking place.
The Yitzhar/Burin CP is unmanned at the moment but facilities are there for the army to occupy at any moment.
The soldier whose job is to protect the settlers as they hitch rides from this area in the OPT, is in the process of detaining a truck which was driving on the apartheid road, forbidden for Palestinians.
Although there is an unusually large number of soldiers and the queue is all the way to the end of the shade, only two of the checking lanes are active, over at the pedestrian checking area of the CP.
There are a number of foreign agencies photographers at the CP today. They called in advance to notify the army that they were arriving, and the army has made the necessary adjustments, which include: a large number of soldiers (some stand around doing nothing), permission for them to wander around any part of the CP (areas which we are usually not let into with the excuse that we are endangering ourselves and the soldiers), and unheard of courtesy towards the Palestinians (for the first time ever- an aging Palestinian woman is aided across the CP by the DCO officer, with the Photographers following them taking shots)
The metal detectors beep over and over again as pedestrians are ordered to take of belts and other accessories in order to be allowed through.
The soldiers chase away any Palestinians who stop to wait for their friends to come out of the queue (when the photographers are not looking).
One of the checking MPs uses crude gestures and offensive language when dealing with the Palestinians. She is obviously making every effort to show them who is master around these parts.
A truck driver who has been detained tells us of his woes. He started before sunrise in the direction of Nablus, was stopped at the various CPs, unloaded and loaded on merchandise, and then returned through the road connecting the place he was coming from to the place he wished to go. Except this road is only intended for blue ID holders, which in this area means Jews who live in neighboring settlements. There is no sign on the road demonstrating its racist tendencies. The driver has been detained for an hour and the CP commander has told him he will be detained for another half hour- a punishment.
The soldiers refuse to allow though a truck full of oxygen bottles designated for the hospital in Nables, they want the driver to go in through the Awarta CP.
As a military jeep approaches the CP, the Palestinian cars make way for it, without being asked to.
We left at 15:50.
Beit Furik CP.
The CP lights are lit despite the glaring sun. Few people are present at this CP, which isolates the residents of 3 villages, not allowing non residents of the village to enter.
The CP commander approaches and asks us to stand farther away from the CP. We decline, explaining that we are not breaking any of their laws and he calms down and leaves.
One of the M.P women present refuses to accept this and gathers all the soldiers at one end of the CP declining to farther check unless we leave. The commander gives in, and no more checking is performed until we walk away.
This type of collective punishment is illegal as well as immoral, but is commonly used in order to make us leave CPs , so as not to witness the army's wrong doings.
There is a detainee in the shade- a 50 year old man who is being detained because he was driving on the apartheid road. He has been here for half an hour already, and will stay here until 5 o'clock, so we are told.
We left at 16:30.
A blue police car has stopped a Palestinian bus next to the settler's bus stop.
Jit CP is unmanned at 17:03.
At the village of Funduk there are some police cars, an ambulance and military jeeps. We notice a crushed Palestinian car and an Israeli car next to it- there must have been an accident.
The entrance to Azzun is still blocked by a huge dirt mound and razor wire.