Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 28.9.08, Afternoon

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Galit G. and Tal H. (reporting); Tal Haran translating
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

"But we conquered this - so it's ours!" says a pretty girl-soldier who really, really cannot fathom what we are about here. Upon arriving at the Huwwara checkpoint we meet three young girl-soldiers who serve at the brigade HQ nearby and have come to pay a visit to the checkpoint, and sought us out. They wanted to hear why we come here, what's the story. We explained. One of them, prettier and more innocent-looking than her mates, asked us in deep concern how we suggested to avoid the peril if the checkpoints were dismantled one day. The peril. It took a while until she admitted that it simply means Arabs, and as for the claims to the territory - the land has indeed been given to us for keeps by the God of Israel so there really is no one and nothing to talk about with. Besides, even if one is not religious, after all in 1967 we conquered all of this, so it's ours, isn't it? Verbatim. Let it be noted they were curious and not at all hostile.



On the road passing under the highway, approaching Zawiya, before Barkan I.Z., we notice a Border Patrol jeep checking Palestinian cars.

15:45- Tapuach Za'tara Junction Checkpoint

8 cars awaiting inspection coming from the Nablus area.

15:55 Huwwara Village - a Border Patrol jeep and soldiers at the entrance to the local grocery shop.

Their presence keeps clients away and hurts the owner's livelihood, he tells us glumly.

Later we heard that in fact Huwwara had been under curfew for several hours earlier.

16:10 Huwwara Checkpoint

2 checking posts active, x-ray truck active, DCO representative - Tomer, Checkpoint commander - lieutenant Emek.
No detaineesinfo-icon.

Many soldiers and MPwomen present, the waiting lines empty fairly rapidly despite the very thorough inspections. The people in line are required to wait at least 5-6 meters from the first turnstiles, so that the yells "Next! Come on!!" are even louder and shriller than usual.

A middle-aged man, having gone through the check, stops to talk to us: "I wait here for over an hour every day. Today I didn't wait at all. Is it because of you?"

A MPwoman shrieks "One by one!!" A man arrives with a child and she literally barks at him "One by one!!" He tries to explain that they are together, the older uncle passes through the special side line for women and the elderly, while the soldier insists on shouting "Throw that kid out of here now!!"

17:00 The DCO representative leaves.
At 17:45 a third checking post is opened.

The soldier at the special side line is constantly drilling the Palestinians how to stand single file and behave in an orderly fashion: "Stand behind that post!" "Don't let them through until they line up properly!!"

We left around 18:00, without driving to the Beit Furik Checkpoint due to personal constraints.