Awarta, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 10.4.08, Morning
Nothing new in the land of the checkpoints. We did not see any barriers or checkpoints that have been removed.
06:15 - Shomron Crossing - no police eastbound.
Soldiers at Ariel Junction, earthworks continuing.
The entrance to Marda is open, the barricade at Zeita is still there.
06:35 - Za'tara/Tapuah Junction:
No cars waiting from the west, and few from the direction of Huwwara.
At the checkpoint a new unit of Air Force reservists. The commander, at first secretive then softening. We asked about quarantine and he asked us what that was. There is a dog minder, two lanes are operating. Some of the cars pass with a wave of a hand. The buses and some of the minibuses are directed into the parking lot for additional checks.
Very quickly a line of thirty vehicles materialises.
06:50 - at Beita Junction
An army vehicle blocks one lane, causing a traffic jam. Later, at Huwwara, they clarified for us that during the night there was activity in the village, and now they are still trying to locate wanted men.
Yitzhar/Burin checkpoints have been taken off the road, and a special lane has been paved for checking without interfering with the flow of yellow (Israeli) numberplates.
07:00 - Huwwara:
Still Nahal soldiers. Crowding by the turnstiles. Checking on two lanes and the humanitarian bypass.
Today there is no telescope or dog minder, and there are no detainees. The market is flourishing in the parking lot. Two shade roofs have been erected, one with armchairs beneath.
The second lieutenant and the DCO rep/ make themselves free to talk with us. We sent condolences to the family of I/, whose brother was killed in Gaza.
We asked the second lieutenant about reports we have read relative to harassment of the stall owners. According to him, he has no objection to the commerce in the parking lot - he only asks the Palestinians to maintain a "sterile" area close to the entrance to the parking lot and the soldiers. The soldiers, so he says, have placed red barriers to delineate the area where they may stay, but the stall owners move the barriers by "creeping annexation."
07:30 - Awarta:
At the junction, soldiers dozing in a military vehicle.
A short line of trucks from every direction. We park by the "café" and the commander arrives to ask what we are doing there.
On our way to Beit Furik, we are passed by a flying Palestinian vehicle - from the speed, he must have thought that he was a settler. We did not see him stopped when we returned.
07:50 - Beit Furik:
About ten vehicles waiting to enter the city. A large group waiting in line for the turnstiles. The checkpoint commander hastens to threaten us that if we pass the well-known line he will stop the check. In lordly tones, with hands in pockets, he supervises the military police labours.
The checkers of vehicles work quickly. They are not requiring the :"checkpoint ballet" and the line lessens rapidly.
08:15 - on returning to Huwwara, the telescope arrives to "get a signature" then travels on. A truck with milk for a hospital passes through the checkpoint without being sent to Awarta.
In Huwwara town, we stop at a garage. The owner is bothered by the new law that prohibits Israelis from repairing vehicles in Area A and B. He claims that the road crossing the town is in Area C (because the settlers need it), and that should allow him to continue working with the scores of Israelis who come to him regularly. Is this so?
09:20 - Za'tara/Tapuah Junction:
The parking lot is full of reservists from lieutenant colonels and downwards. These are the new unit's commanders learning the terrain.
At Shomron Crossing, as usual no check on people entering Israel.