'Anabta, Deir Sharaf, Huwwara, Irtah (Sha'ar Efrayim), Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 1.3.10, Afternoon

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Riba B., Pethiya A. Translator: Charles K.

14:20  Za’tara is flowing freely. 

14:40  Huwwara – Light traffic, almost no inspections, maybe one car out of 20-30.  When a car is inspected, a dog is used. 

15:20  Barrels checkpoint – The checkpoint has been removed completely; neither a post nor soldiers remain. 

15:30  At the turn to Beit Lid we see a very unusual sight:  A Border Police jeep with four soldiers is stopping all vehicles entering or leaving.  When we stopped there were about eight cars, mainly taxis.  They took ID cards for inspection, which forced people to wait a long time. Riders in one of the taxis said they’d been waiting an hour.  A sick young man was made to get out of a taxi and had to stand in the cold while the soldiers made as if they were busy with the inspections.  They didn’t allow us to approach, and were unwilling, of course, to talk to us.  We called the Humanitarian Office and DCO Tulkarm-Qalqilya.  A few minutes later they stopped delaying additional cars that were entering or leaving, a not inconsiderable number because it was the time people returned to the villages.  Only the young man remained.  The taxi he’d been in left after about 20 minutes, when they understood that it wouldn’t be over soon.  After about three-quarters of an hour, for some reason, they searched the young man.  During this entire time we repeatedly telephoned, without much success.  The soldier at the Humanitarian Office, who understood our concern, said they’d contacted all the brigade headquarters, and no one knew what was going on, but no one came.  We had no intention of leaving until the young man had been released. 

Finally, at 16:20, we were able to speak to Grisha, and at the same time the young man’s mother arrived, crying.  She yelled at and begged the soldiers.  Finally they released him to her.  One elderly Palestinian woman succeeded in getting the Border Police soldiers to climb down from the tree they’d ascended and didn’t know how to descend.  When, earlier, we’d asked people in one of the taxis, they said that such things sometimes happen, but not at any consistent time.  It’s interesting, but not surprising, that they don’t know about it at brigade headquarters.  As we left, we told the commander that we were ashamed.  Attached are photographs of this unnecessary incident. 

16:23  Anabta.  Traffic flows; the checkpoint is unmanned. 

16:30  Irtach.  The crossing isn’t open because of the holiday closureinfo-icon.  Eyal crossing was also closed. Nadim wouldn’t drive us to the agricultural gate at Habla, even though we asked him to.