Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 12.5.09, Afternoon

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Maki S. and Riva B.

 Translator:  Charles K.

14:15  Zeita. 
On our way to Checkpoint Land we saw what seemed to be a change in the long-standing barrier at the entrance to Zeita.  And, in fact, on our way back (16:30) we stopped and spoke with the drivers. 
It turns out that the previous day the army arrived (and took away one concrete cube?), widened the distance between the central cube and those on the side and lowered the earthen barrier in two places in order to create clearly inconvenient paths.  It also completely blocked the "Burma Road" used by the more daring drivers to enter. 
They also said that the police came and threatened to give tickets (NIS 500) to taxis waiting for passengers in front of the barrier.  All this occurs, of course, quite far from the road.  Can someone ask/consult the lawyers about this?

14:25  Za'tara junction. (Tapuach). 
A truck coming from the west, loaded with furniture, is detained.  The soldier at the junction said that one of the ID's was a "bingo," and they're waiting for it to be checked.  The driver and a passenger in the vehicle said they've been waiting about 10 minutes, and didn't seem to want us involved.  On our way back they weren't there.  A line of 39 cars from the north.  We had the feeling that when we stopped in the parking lot the traffic flowed more quickly , but that might only be wishful thinking.

14:35  Burin junction (Yitzhar).  An army Hummer is positioned west of the junction (as it was last week).

14:50  Beit Furik. 
During the short time we observed neither vehicles nor ID's were checked.  But we were amazed by Rabbi Nahman's presence at the checkpoint.  Our investigation revealed that the picture appeared on both sides of the military stonework, and on the western side, at least, it covered the previous slogan, "Death to Arabs."

15:00  Huwwara. 
While still passing through the parking lot on the way to the checkpoint we ran into "activity":  The checkpoint commander and a soldier providing security argued with a driver of a Transit who was seated in his vehicle on his way out of the lot.  Additional passengers sat in the vehicle.  A few minutes later the owner of the vehicle showed up and took the driver's place.  The driver was taken to the checkpoint.  When we asked the DCO representative he said that the driver cursed the soldiers as he passed through the checkpoint, so he's being detained "to teach him a lesson."  He promised that it would only be for 30 minutes.  When I asked B., the checkpoint commander, what happened, he said:  Those stands aren't authorized at all.  I replied that when there's a checkpoint and drivers and passengers waiting for a long time they need services!  He answered - but I didn't shut down the stands.

Very few people go through the checkpoint.  It turns out that there aren't any classes now, just exams.  The line of cars leaving Nablus was short, and many times there was no inspection.

16:15  Za'tara junction.  No line of cars.