'Awarta, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 25.3.10, Morning

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Esti W., Nava E.

Translator:  Charles K.


Construction freeze?  Maybe in Washington. 
All the way there we passed trucks filled with cement blocks, construction frames, etc.


06:40  Shomron gate is wide open to the east, and no one is inspecting.

The entrance to Marda is open; Zeita and Jamma’in are still closed off.


07:05  Za’tara/Tapuach: 
Almost no line at the checkpoint; only one lane open.

Burin/Yitzhar:  Empty


07:35  Beit Furik: 
The checkpoint has been resurrected.  A group of reserve soldiers stop cars entering Nablus and ask for the passengers’ IDs.

They ask some of them to get out and stand on the side while the soldier checks the ID on the computer in the back.

The soldiers say that it’s a routine check:  “IDs and hello goodbye, everyone friendly.” 
They don’t mention any specific security alerts or expected incidents.  Just the usual security routine.

The Palestinians say that it’s been a long time since there have been inspections at Beit Furik. 

Apparently it’s part of the preparations for the holiday, or out of concern that the irregular behavior of Kfir soldiers near Nablus last week will cause tensions.


07:45  Awarta:  No cars waiting.  There’s a dog handler whose dog is resting.


07:50  Huwwara: 
Soldiers, not Border Police, at the entrance to the parking lot.  They look less tense than the others did.

The checkpoint commander asks us to stand far beyond the metal barrier.  A dog handler is on site. 
Cars leaving the city are inspected randomly.  Usually no one is detained.  A Border Police flag waves in the wind alongside an Israeli flag.

Burin/Yitzhar:  No military activity.


08:25  Za’tara: 
Many Border Police soldiers at the checkpoint but only one lane is open.  We went over to talk to the checkpoint commander, but even before we reached him he hurried to open an additional lane and the line disappeared.

The commander demands that we leave the area of the checkpoint, but allows a civilian wearing a yarmulke to remain standing alongside him.  When we complained he explained that it’s the owner of the roasted nuts stand in the parking lot, who’s allowed to stand there “because he brings us sweets and cake.”

The settler is livid at our comment. 
The things he said would have profaned the Passover utensils that he had undoubtedly prepared.

An army vehicle in the parking lot carrying soldiers from an armored unit observing what’s going on.

They watched, amazed, the settler again cursing our very presence in the area.


Happy holiday.