'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 2.6.09, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
13:40 Shomron Gate - we enter Palestine
14:00 Za'tara (Tapuach).
Two vehicles on line from the west; a traffic jam of 25 vehicles from the north.
A steady stream of vehicles from the direction of Nablus. Another inspection booth has been added for vehicles going to Nablus.
14:20 Beit Furik.
Vehicles entering and leaving Nablus are selected randomly for inspection.
The taxi drivers report that settlers today set fire to a wheat field near the village of Burin. They also report that, starting next week, vehicles won't need a permit to go through (it seems that an attempt is being made to ease vehicular traffic in order to reduce - and perhaps forbid - foot traffic).
Pedestrian crossing - three inspection lanes operating, and an additional one for women and men over 45. Men go through a metal detector, come over to the booth, show their ID card. On the other side of the checkpoint they put their belts and watches back on. The x-ray machine has moved to the area where pedestrians and inspected, next to the women's lane. Pedestrians are sent there to have bags and packages checked.
The checkpoint is almost empty because it's now easier to go through Deir Sharaf (barrels) in a vehicle. Only residents of nearby villages now come to Huwwara, since the shorter time it takes to go through Deir Sharaf doesn't compensate for the detour involved (and perhaps an additional checkpoint on the way).
Vehicle crossing - A soldier inspects randomly at the entrance to Nablus. A truck driver, apparently not a local resident, is sent back and asked to enter Nablus through Awarta (heavy trucks can enter Nablus only through Awarta).
A long line, whose end isn't visible, at the exit from Nablus. Only one booth operating. Inspection of the trunk, the interior and documents.
The checkpoint commander comes over to tell us that the soldier who was stabbed this morning feels good. The wound was superficial.
16:15 Za'tara (Tapuach). 10 vehicles on line from the north, three from the west.
16:45 Shomron Gate - we returned to Israel. We continued to Azzun Atma.