Deir Sharaf, Sun 17.5.09, Afternoon

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Alix W., Susan L. (reporting)


Today's Haaretz enlightens the Israeli public (and others) about what's going on in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: "New residents account for one-third of West Bank settlement growth." The newspaper says nothing, of course, about freedom of movement for the Palestinians, nor does it mention the 1500 settlers who were given permission to march to the evacuated settlement of Homesh last week, on Lag b'Omer, 12.05.09. The settlers had full IDF backing and support. All we knew (or learned) is that there were garish fluorescent Hebrew signs in Deir Sharaf last week at the junction with Route 60, pointing in the direction of  Homesh - but the women of MachsomWatch have no "freedom of movement" to go beyond the new checkpoint: settlers only.

13:10 Deir Sharaf

A lot of fast moving Palestinian vehicles, mainly private cars and taxis, on their way to Nablus. From Nablus, every second or third vehicle is made to stop by the two soldiers standing at the bedraggled flag bedecked position on the north side of the roadway. IDs, we can see from our far away vantage point, are taken by one soldier and perused, or called in: who knows? Three minutes of wasted time in a journey for the many passengers inside. Two Israeli SUVs are sent back: they cannot go further today, as it's Sunday, not a day where Palestinian Israelis are allowed into Nablus.