'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 19.11.09, Afternoon

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Maki S., Amira I. (reporting)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Translator:  Charles K.


Zeita – The entrance appears more blocked than ever.  Piles of garbage atop the earth mounds.


13:20  Za’tara – No delays.  The junction is empty, yellow posters declaring “Kahane was right.”


13:30  The road from Za’tara to Huwwara has been upgraded and smoothed, with concrete safety railings along its entire length, but at the outskirts of Huwwara, where the upgrading ceased, there was an accident.  A Palestinian taxi hit a girl and uprooted an electric pole.  Military vehicles, an ambulance, Palestinian Authority soldiers in their camouflage uniforms, curious onlookers and soldiers – all mixed together, and traffic stops.  Only the settlers pass them all, high and mighty.


14:00  Beit Furik – Traffic flows despite the checkpoint.

Awarta – There aren’t any cars.

 14:05  Huwwara. 
A group of kilted Scotsmen in the parking lot.  We expected to hear bagpipes.  They said they were accompanying a friend who’s an art therapist in Nablus refugee camps.  She said she’d once been attacked by settlers when she went through the checkpoint in her car.  One of them was the director of the church schools in Israel and they’re on a trip to choose an organization to contribute to. 
We visited the Nuwaf family, who sell coffee in the parking lot.  We brought clothes and greetings.  They were very glad to see us.  The parents weren’t home, and the children are kids again, no longer exposed to the army and the Border Police who overturn their stand and threaten their livelihood.  The father now works off and on in Israel.  They mentioned fondly the summer day camp. 
A large sign in the plaza: 

Welcome to the loyal soldiersOn their release from military prison.
“Shimshon won’t evacuate Homesh”
Saturday, Hayey Sara, Sharett Hall, Jerusalem, 22:00Information:  052-720-3607 

Kifl Hares . 
In view of Hagar’s report from yesterday, we entered the village through the gate.  A steel beam blocks the entrance.  Two soldiers on guard prevent cars from passing through.  Laborers and residents returning on foot detour around it or pass underneath the beam.  People are angry at the new closureinfo-icon that’s been in effect for a week.  “To make our lives miserable,” and in the same breath wishing us a good day.
A Jewish driver from Bnei Baraq arrives to pick up goods.  A Transit loaded with boxes of electrical components assembled in the village comes to the other side of the blocked entrance.  They start transferring the merchandise truck-to-truck, wordlessly.  The soldiers from the new checkpoint intervene and forbid the transfer.  A female soldier telephones someone, and after the goods have already been moved back, gives them permission to transfer them.  The goods are transferred and she intervenes, wants the boxes to be opened so she can go through them.Thus, wordlessly, the Palestinian driver passes the cartons under the steel beam, the Jewish driver opens them for the female soldier and then loads them onto his Transit. 
The other soldier asks, “What do you think will happen at the Shomron gate?”

16:30  Azzun Atma. 
The line lengthens as sunset approaches.  The Palestinians advance to the MP in the booth, insert their ID through the slot so they’ll be recorded as having returned to the village.  Since only one position is operating, the line gets longer, as dozens of laborers return from work.  A second soldier begins taking people.  He has neither a slot nor a computer; he receives an ID, writes the number on a slip of paper, and the line is slowly reduced.  We call the DCO, who confirm the procedure. 
The Palestinians are joking around – at us?  With us?  And, as usual, someone arrives who takes out his ire on us in fluent Hebrew as helpless representatives of the “Jewish state that doesn’t want peace.  Things are quiet, there’s no terror, and our lives have become even harder and more confined.  Soon they’ll put a fence around each house.  The Jews don’t want peace.”