'Awarta, 'Azzun, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Huwwara, Jit, Shomron Crossing, Wed 30.3.11, Afternoon

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Sara Fishman, Shosi Anbar (reporting
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Translator:  Charles K.


 Awarta Visit

13:30  Habla.  The gatesinfo-icon are open.  Three people at the inspection booth.  A pickup truck loaded with seedlings leaves the village.  The school buses have already crossed.  A truck and horse cart are waiting to be inspected.  Today is calm here.

13:50  Eliyahu crossing.  Ten vehicles on line to enter Israel.

A military vehicle parked next to a car belonging to an Israeli woman (a settler?) at the entrance to the village of A-Nabi Elias.  We didn’t stop to see what was going on.

13:50  A military jeep and three soldiers parked at the entrance to Azzun.

 14:05  A military jeep next to a car at the Jit junction.

 We turn south to Route 60.  New red roofs in Yitzhar, on the right - Construction continues apace.

14:15  Huwwara – Traffic flows in both directions, without inspections.  From a distance we don’t see soldiers, but three appear as we approach, walking toward us.  In response to our question they say they’ll begin randomly inspecting vehicles in another 15 minutes.  We didn’t wait.

14:30  Beit Furiq checkpoint.  We don’t see soldiers on site.  A tractor is cleaning the side of the road to Elon Moreh.

14:40  Soldiers at a firing range by the side of the road to Awarta.

14:45  Awarta – We go into a garage, and amid the grease fumes hear the account of one of the villagers.  On Monday night/Tuesday morning (March 29/30) soldiers entered homes, took more than 40 people outside, men of all ages, handcuffed them, took them to the base, and interrogated them, handcuffed, until 4 AM.  During this time houses were searched, using dogs.  In some homes they broke and destroyed whatever they came across.  One of his neighbors said to an officer: “There are little children here who are trembling with fear.”  The officer:  “Shut up.”  Many children have begun to wet their beds.

One of his neighbors had NIS 2000 in a drawer.  The money disappeared.

That night two trailers were placed on the hill between Awarta and Itamar, and the place was called the “young people’s neighborhood.”  That’s how the abominable murders are exploited to take over more land.

Groups of soldiers usually come at night and march through the village alleys to remind them who’s in charge.

Two young men walking past enter and join the conversation.  One, aged 18, says they took him from his home at 10:30, and interrogated him at the base (apparently at the DCO) until 14:30 the following afternoon.  When he complained that the handcuffs were hurting him, the interrogator hit him.

The settlers say there are four tombs of Jewish holy men in the village.  Before they come to pray, the army closes the area.  They bring black spray paint and write “Death to Arabs” on the houses.  On their way back they throw rocks and break the windows of cars and homes and destroy gravestones in the Moslem cemetery they pass through.  Soldier enter the mosque wearing shoes, with dogs.  Border Police soldiers drive through, cursing in Arabic over the loudspeaker.

Only 17 villagers have permits to work in Israel.  After the murders, ten had their permits taken away.  Most work in Nablus, earning NIS 70 per day.  Many young men can’t marry because they can’t afford to build a house.  They barely have enough to eat.

15:30  We left Awarta, and returned to Huwwara through the narrow alleys of Odala village.

16:15  No soldiers at the Za’tar/Tapuach junction.

16:30  Shomron crossing – A few vehicles going through.  A female soldier asks to see our ID’s.

 16:40  Azzun Atma – More than 20 people on line for inspections.  The line moves slowly.