'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Eliyahu Crossing, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sat 21.8.10, Morning

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Ruti R., and Pnina M. (visitor)

Translation:  Suzanne O.


Azun Atma southern roadblock

9:30 a.m. 

A small lorry arrives in the direction of the exit.

A soldier opens the gate, the driver alights and shows his documents and another soldier inspects the goods in the back.  They release it after 2 minutes.

A young man arrives wanting to enter.  He crosses the roadblock within half a minute.

Again there is no one.  We moved to the Nablus roadblocks.


Za'atra/Tapuach roadblock

10:30 a.m. 

There are 8 cars queuing.  The soldiers inspect quickly, they do not demand documents, they glance at the passengers and signal with their hands to cross.

A lorry is stopped, documents and goods are inspected, two minutes and it crosses.



10:40 a.m. 

At the entrance to Huwwara there is a serious road accident.  An Israeli and a Palestinian police vehicle direct us to move on.


Huwwara roadblock

10:50 a.m. 

2 soldiers are behind concrete blocks at the entrance to Nablus, there is no civilian police presence.  Just now they inspected a car at the entrance - looked at the documents and let it cross.

There are four soldiers at the exit from Nablus; there are no cars in the queue.  The soldiers wave cars through.  Lorries come and go.


Awarta roadblock

11:05 a.m. 

The roadblock is closed to traffic.  There is a soldier in the lookout tower.

We drove along a winding road via Madma (everything is closed!).

Asira el Kabilia (a crowded village, narrow lanes, just one grocery shop open, not a person on the streets).

In Urif a lot of shops are open, many people on the streets, they smile and wave hello.

In Jemayn it is also quite busy, we drove onto Road 505 which until recently was closed by a high pile of earth (the entrance to Zeita).


Za'atra/Tapuach Junction again

12:00 p.m. 

There is now a queue of 18 vehicles.  Some are stopped and documents inspected; the inspection is quick.

Huwwara roadblock again

12:10 p.m. 

There are no hold ups at the entrance to Nablus, but at the exit there is a huge queue!!  It is impossible to see the end of it!

We drove up to the road to Bracha; from there we could observe the roadblock and counted at least 150 cars queuing in 3 lanes which narrowed into one towards the roadblock.

A bus which joined the queue at 12:15 p.m., crossed the roadblock at 12:21 p.m.  The crossing is quite fast and the number of cars was also reduced.

On Road 60 a surprise!  The roadblock has been removed!  When did this happen?  There are no concrete blocks barring the way and the traffic can go to and fro.  Great!

There is a sign saying Entrance to Area A.  It doesn't look like Area A according to my map but we didn't go in.

Road 55

In Punduk too it appears to be an ordinary Saturday, lots of activity.  There is no military jeep in the area.


Sha'ar Eliahu

1:10 p.m. 

There are at least 15 soldiers and 3 jeeps surrounding a Palestinian vehicle which has stopped on the Israeli side, in the middle of a traffic island.  What is happening here?

We stopped to observe from the car park.

A young Palestinian walks around the vehicle, speaking on the telephone.

A second Palestinian sits behind the steering wheel without moving.  Every minute someone approaches him and looks.  Has he fainted?  Is he wounded?

A police vehicle arrives as well as a military ambulance.

1:30 p.m.

An Israeli ambulance arrives, kippah wearing paramedics alight, hug the soldiers but no one is in any hurry to approach the wounded person.  For his part he doesn't move!  Perhaps he is dead?

1:40 p.m.

An Arab ambulance arrives.  They also do not approach the wounded man.  What is going on here?  We don't want them to send us away so we don't go over, just observe.

The police leave, the military ambulance leaves, the civilian one as well, another 2 military jeeps arrive and still the driver doesn't move!

Suddenly we see him put his leg out, and then put it in again!  He is not dead!  Phew!

!:55 p.m.

The driver alights, a young man, he supports his neck with his hand and goes over to the Arab ambulance.  What a surprise!  We were waiting for a stretcher...

2:00 p.m.

The ambulance drives off in the direction of Kalkilya.  The car is driven away by the second young man.