'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 4.8.09, Morning

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Natalie C., Rachel B., Dina A. (reporting)

Translation:  Suzanne O.

It is easier, it is simpler but it is still occupation.


Azun Atma

7:20 a.m. 

The roadblock is empty; the soldiers stand around not doing anything, apparently those leaving the village crossed earlier this morning.

On the other side of the road about 10 men wait for the employers who will come to collect them and, indeed, within a few minutes two vehicles draw up and collect 5 of the waiting men.

Children mill around at the side of the road offering coffee or figs.

At the entrance to the territories there is a police barrier; there are no inspections it is just present.


Za'atra/Tapuach Junction

7:40 a.m. 

There is no roadblock from the direction of Road 5, from the direction of Nablus a line of about 30 cars advance slowly.

In the direction of the roadblock two check points are open and, usually, the vehicles are not inspected, the soldiers glance into the vehicle and it continues on.


Beit Furiq roadblock

8:00 a.m.

When the soldier sees us getting near he shouts at us to get off the road because we are interfering with the traffic, there is hardly any traffic, particularly not at the exit from Nablus.

At the entrance from the direction of Beit Furiq there is a continuous stream of cars, they slow down as they reach the roadblock, some are inspected and some not.

Two residents are detained by the roadblock.

As we stand there a jeep and a military prisoners' van arrive.  One of the soldiers who arrived in the jeep comes over to us and introduces himself as the area commander.  When we ask why the two citizens are detained he says that they crossed the sterileinfo-icon road, Madison Way, without a permit and their details are being checked.


Huwwara roadblock

8:20 a.m. 

The car park is deserted, the pedestrian crossing stands like a white elephant, unused - so much money has been invested here which could have been used for much better purposes.

We stand on the road opposite the car roadblock, at the entrance all the vehicles cross without any hold up although a soldier is stationed in the check point.

At the exit a convoy of vehicles advances towards the roadblock but in most cases they are not inspected, even the dog is sitting down.

From time to time a vehicle is stopped for inspection, the passengers alight, wait a few minutes and then continue on their way.

The roadblock commander comes over and informs us that we can stand by the iron barrier and watch whatever is going on.

9:00 a.m.  We left.

At Za'atra Junction there is still a line of about 30 cars and then another checkpoint is opened, the third one.