Awarta, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 13.4.08, Morning
Translation: Maureen A.
There are three soldiers opposite the entrance to Ariel. It seems they are there in connection with the earth-works that are being carried out there.
7:50 – Za'tara:
There are 6 vehicles from the west. At the north-south checkpoint, there are 3 security-check lines and a humanitarian line.
A bus reaches the open area. All the passengers get off, even those who have a hard time walking. A soldier is holding a loaded weapon on them. Every time the gun slips a little, he makes sure to level it against them properly. The soldiers are Air Force security guards; one of them makes sure to tell us that he prefers the suffering of the Palestinians to casualties on our side.
The passengers get their ID's returned to them after their names are called out – they get back on the bus and continue on their way.
There are about 70 vehicles in the line going south.
8:15 – Burin/Yitzhar
Near the crossroads there are a couple of soldiers and a couple of Palestinians in conversation. When we stop, a Border Policeman comes up to us and tells us that they are there in connection with a clan dispute that happened there the night before, during which several houses were burned down.
8:25 – Beit Furik:
There are a few pedestrians, and a few more making their way to the checkpoint. There is no line of vehicles.
8:35 – Awarta:
There are 7 trucks and 2 cars in line to leave the village. No vehicles entering the village. The Palestinian who owns the food stand complains that there are no people crossing, so he has no business.
8:50 - Huwwara:
The parking lot is full of life. At least the Palestinians are allowed to set up their stands in the area (let's hope that it isn't 'until a new order is given') and they are showing initiative and setting up stalls to sell all and sundry.
The checkpoint is fully manned: the x-ray machine, a female canine unit soldier and the removal of belts.
9:20 - We discover a Palestinian in the lock-up area, his eyes covered with a flannel blindfold. He speaks English. He tells us that his shop was burned down and he was arguing with those who did it. He has been in the lock-up for half an hour. The soldiers tell us he's connected with the clan dispute; indeed, his shop was burned down, but he tried to burn down a different shop. They are waiting for the Palestinian Police, who are meant to take him to the Nablus police station. We couldn't find out why he was blindfolded. One of the soldiers said it was in order to prevent him from escaping – how he could escape from the lock-up cell 'escapes us'. T., from the DCO, says that that was done in accordance with a request from the Palestinian police.
9:20 - A Palestinian approaches us: he worked in Israel in the past; now he's on the Security Forces' (the Shabak's) list of those not allowed to. He has been married for 8 years, no children. He would like to receive fertility treatment at a hospital in Israel and get a magnetic card allowing him to work in Israel. I got in touch with Sylvia Peterman and with Chana in Ramat Gan – who will try to help him.
9:40 – The detainee was taken away by the Palestinian Police.
10:05 – We left the checkpoint.
10:40 – Za'tara: There are no vehicles in the line from the north.