Beit Furik, Deir Sharaf, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sat 15.8.09, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
The roadblock, as you well know already, is for cars only. Crossing by foot is totally and absolutely forbidden, there are no permits for goods to cross and cars are inspected as they leave Nablus, not on a completely random basis. Cars are stopped if they are suspected of carrying goods; cars are stopped if their passengers are mainly young men. The roadblock commander identifies the cars he wants inspected and a young man is detained at the roadblock.
Pedestrians are not permitted on the roadblock including the area from the south of the roadblock, from the last house in Huwwara, up to the northern end of the roadblock, from the exit from and up to the entrance to Nablus. As soon as we arrived we saw a man, not young, arguing with the soldier stationed at the south of the roadblock, and from his body language we figured out that he wanted to go to the quarry by a path a distance of about 200 metres away. The man confirmed to us that he comes to work at the quarry every day from Nablus but he is forced get out of the vehicle transporting him further away from the roadblock so that, heaven forbid, he doesn't get close to a soldier on foot.
Among the cars being stopped for inspection are taxis carrying young men and, one of these young men has been detained for half an hour. We were not able to talk to him and find out what happened. A vehicle looking like a van carrying goods was stopped for inspection and not permitted to leave from the direction of Nablus, a similar vehicle at the entrance turned around and drove back when the corresponding vehicle was seen being sent back. A car with a Fatah badge is inspected and a cyclist is also stopped for inspection at the entrance to Nablus, all the stoppages and inspections are on the orders of the person who introduced himself as the commander of Judeah and Shomron who also wanted us to move away on the pretext that this is a closed military area. In the lookout towers soldiers peer out from the openings.
All the above describes a picture of control at the crossing and limited freedom of movement at the entrance and exit from Nablus, there is no longer the abuse and humiliation of the population who were forced for so many years to waste their days standing at the roadblock but the roadblock functions and controls the freedom of movement in the area which is in the heart of the West Bank on the road which is the entrance and exit to and from Nablus.
The objection of the Bracha settlement to the removal of the option of crossing on foot terminated because, in my opinion, Palestinians can now only be in the area if they are seated in vehicles which improves control, and throughout our surveillance of the three roadblocks we did not see a Palestinian man, woman or child walk about on foot in the area of the roadblocks.
Beit Furiq roadblock
The few cars crossing were not inspected at the entrance and exit, apart from a quick glance, the cars are only on their way from the adjacent villages into Nablus, the road from Huwwara to the settlement Eilon Moreh is still forbidden to Palestinians in cars or on foot. The roadblock is open 24 hours a day and during the night the soldiers are in the towers. The infrastructure of concrete blocks, turnstiles and the detention cell has gone, but the yellow barrier which can be closed is in place and ready for use.
Dir Sharef roadblock
There are no pedestrians, we saw a random inspection, reservists are there and one of them admitted that he had not thought about someone wanting to cross on foot.
There are a lot of Israeli cars at the entrance to Nablus; there is a kind of infrastructure in place at the roadblock, metal booths, an awning, chairs for the soldiers and armed soldiers supervising the crossing from both directions.
This is the main roadblock between the north and the south of the West Bank, on the road between Nablus and Ramallah, we did not stop but, on the face of it, inspections are random here too. This morning in the car park there were two buses whose passengers, young men, wait outside the bus, the soldier in the booth with his weapon at the ready aimed at the oncoming cars from Nablus.
The village of Silwad, on Road 60 a little south of the settlement Ofra, has an exit on the road below in the direction of Ramallah, it has one of the barriers which, it was declared, would be removed a few weeks ago and indeed there was no barrier, but meanwhile it has been put back. A photograph will be sent separately.
All along the road from Jerusalem north to Nablus we noticed a lot of new quarries, the area is apparently rich in building materials, and it is important to find out who the entrepreneurs and the owners of the new quarries are and how they got mining and work permits, they are in Area C.