'Anabta, Beit Furik, Deir Sharaf, Huwwara, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 31.1.10, Afternoon
Translation: Tal H.
14:45 Army Hummer, soldiers rummaging inside a Palestinian vehicle beside the dirt mound that permanently blocks the access to Zeita-Jama’in village.
14:50 Za'tara (Tapuach) Junction Checkpoint
Israeli civilian police is seen enforcing Israeli traffic regulations upon Palestinian drivers today, at many more locations than usual. Palestinian vehicle is inspected by Border Patrolmen inside the compound.
30 cars waiting in line southbound from the Nablus area.
15:10 Inside Huwwara village/town a Border Patrolman wrapped in his prayer shawl seen praying next to his army jeep comfortably nestled amidst the olive trees in some Palestinian yard. Many more army vehicles than usual lately are seen both parked and moving throughout the area.
15:20 Beit Furik - No soldiers nor vehicles seen.
15:30 Huwwara Checkpoint
Border Patrolmen manning the entry checking post for Nablus-bound vehicles.
At the exit checking post, much more thorough inspections than seen lately during our shifts.
15:40 The sniffer-dog-cum-trainer arrive and ‘get to work’. Once again the sights appear of an entire family ordered to disembark from a service taxi (van), all its belongings scattered on the ground, the dog hopping in to rummage, sniff and salivate, the inspection lasts over ten minutes.
In the meantime other IDs are checked and a waiting line forms.
Apparently at random suddenly everyone is let through. On the other hand, at the entry post, a Palestinian pedestrian is detained, taken by the Border Patrolmen to be body-searched spread-eagled against the concrete blocks on the far side of the now empty taxi park, straight out of a Hollywood police series. Then he is seated to wait on the curb.
16:05 Another van inspected for Israel’s security: university students on their way back from town to their villages – the Border Patrol leafs through their books and shakes out their notebooks.
They are also ordered to take off their shoes, which – by the way – are not inspected.
16:15 – Two spick-and-span yeshiva boys (uniform: white shirts, black trousers, elegant black skullcaps and long tzitziot) rambling freely amidst the various points in the compound and shooting photographs with a very professional/photojournalist looking camera).
While Galit goes over to inquire about the detained pedestrian, a roar sounds from the concrete watchtower: “Watchhhhhh!!!”
The Border Patrolman tells Galit this is a ‘confidential’ matter and sends her away.
Our friend from one of the villages in the area tells us over the phone that today, from 9:30 for about an hour all traffic through checkpoints in the area was suspended because apparently the Israeli police were looking for stolen cars inside Nablus.
16:40 Deir Sharaf Checkpoint - Unmanned, traffic flows freely.
16:45 Anabta Checkpoint - No soldiers in sight.
17:00 Efrayim-Irtah Checkpoint
No crowding outside the turnstiles, the last workers on their way home arrive and are swiftly processed through the compound.
We get on our way back into Israel at 17:20.