Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 26.3.08, Morning
Translation: Ruth F.
It has been a while now that the soldiers from the passages unit of the military police have been wearing a tag with their names. Each time another purple sign is added at Huwwara. Today for instance we found a sign by the x-ray machine. The sign was in English and Arabic: "luggage check". Does this make the occupation more comfortable? More friendly? Does it make the fact that one needs to jump over the cement bricks in order to reach the x-ray machine redundant?
7:07- The Samaria passage was also open from the east.
7:23- The entrance to Marda was open; the entrance to Zeita- Jamain was still closed.
The cp was manned by reserve soldiers.
From the west: six cars and a buss that was being inspected.
From the north: three posts. It took an average of four minutes for the inspection of a cab. The inspection of the buss took longer. When the buss arrived at the inspection post, IDs were taken from the passengers and the buss was sent to the parking lot. The passengers waited in the bus. After the ID inspection the passengers were taken off and a soldier got on the buss and walked along the aisles of the sits. The IDs was handed to the driver who gave them out one by one to the passengers, those with luggage were inspected by the soldier before returning to the buss.
We left at 7:47, there were ten cars lined up from the north.
The cp was also activated to the north. On the dirt mound by the dog parlor advertisement, was a manned post.
7:50 - in front of the entrance to Beita was a BP jeep and at the main road to Huwwara were military jeep all over while the soldiers were walking about aiming their rifles.
Three inspection posts for pedestrians. The x-ray machine was on and there was a DCO representative.
There were about 30 pedestrians.
Busses with pupils entered the city. Two managed to enter but the third one was detained. A BP jeep arrived and an argument between the police officers and the elders in the buss. The soldiers claimed that something was thrown out of the bus on to the jeep. The officer explained: "The kid that threw a bottle will tomorrow fire a gun". After several minutes one of the kids (they looked about 8 years old) get off escorted by and adult, and they walked towards the soldiers.
At 8:27 the boy got back on the buss which headed on.
8:35- A detainee was sent to the cell.
8:37- Another detainee was sent to the cell.
Apart for the removing of the belt ritual and the emptying of pockets, a soldier stood at one of the inspection posts holding a roll of toilet paper and asking it's owner whether it was in fact a toilet paper.
8:42- On of the detainees was released.
At the settlers hitchhiker station was a soldier. So Palestinian cars using the apartheid road were caught and sent to the checkpoint. While we were there two were caught. One was a privet car and the driver was allowed to head on. The other was a truck, the driver was detained for three hours according to the checkpoint commander. We managed to receive this information after a long time of trying to catch the DCO representative's and the checkpoint commander's attention. The DCO representative was too preoccupied with the conversation he had with the soldier at the vehicle inspection post.
When we got the information on the truck driver we asked the commander about the detainee and he said that he was being inspected and that there was another detainee.
Before we left the brother of one of the detainees came to us and asked what was going on with his brother. We tried explaining to him that he was "being inspected" and took the detainee's number. When we later tried to contact the detainee we didn't manage to find out whether or not he was released.
9:42- Beit Furik
When we arrived there were six cars waiting in front of the checkpoint.
We asked the driver of the last car how long he had been waiting and he said an hour. There was a baby in the car. This vehicle reached the inspection post 24 minutes afterwards.
In the meanwhile one of the cab driver that we know there (H') told us about what happened on the day before:
Two women from Tulza, one of which was a heart disease arrived at the checkpoint and were granted permission to enter Beit Furik. But they weren't permitted to head back home. When they asked the soldier why they were permitted to enter and not to exit, she answer that earlier they permitted it and now they don't. After making many phone calls and miki F's intervention, they were permitted to head home.
In a different event the ID of the person operating the coffee stand was confiscated since he was holding a Machsom Watch card with a phone number on it.
10:30 we left.
11:12- There were no lines at Za'tara.