'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 20.7.10, Morning
Central region checkpoints, Tuesday, 20.7.20, morning
Observers (with Nadim): Nurit Wagner and Yael Peled (reporting)
Translator: Charles K.
We were in the field for about an hour and a half, perhaps a little longer. We drove via Azzun Atma to Hars and back onto Route 5 at the grandiose plaza at the entrance to Ariel. We continued via Za’tara junction to Huwwara.
From what used to be a checkpoint we continued via Awarta to Huwara and back home on Route 5.
Everything was very quiet. Minimal military presence everywhere, and even those few pretty much have nothing to do. The inhabitants of Azzun Atma with whom we spoke said, “So-so, sometimes good and sometimes not so good; today is OK.” No checkpoint at Hars (the checkpoint hasn’t been removed but it’s always open and there aren’t any soldiers there). The same at the exit from Kifl Hars opposite Ariel. Light traffic in the villages; it’s school vacation there also, and everything’s lethargic. The checkpoints at Marda-Zeita were removed some time ago; it’s as if all the checkpoints never existed. Not one car on line at Za’tara junction. Few soldiers, everything flowed, almost the same scene when we returned and saw a group of laborers in the parking lot on their way back to a car (apparently after it had been inspected); otherwise, nothing was happening.
On the way to Huwara we saw no military vehicles whatsoever. Only in Huwara, after we parked in the huge, deserted parking lot two soldiers immediately approached us with self-important expressions on their faces, asked what we were doing and forbade Nurit from photographing the deserted area. “Military area,” that is. (Unfortunately, we didn’t have with us the document permitting us to photograph) A truck arrived, the driver asked how to get to some place, the soldier showed him the way on the holy Madison route, and after I asked him to check because they’ll stop the driver when he gets there he called someone and then directed him to a road through Huwara on which he was allowed to drive. It’s a good thing we already know more than the soldiers do – after all, we have more experience and seniority here…