'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Eliyahu Crossing, Habla, Huwwara, Jit, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 24.3.11, Afternoon

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Yafa Wax, Yehudit Levin (reporting and photographing)


Translator:  Charles K.


A rainy day.

13:50  Habla – As we approach the checkpoint the soldiers are closing the exit gate from Hable, and half of the exit gate from Israel.

The gatesinfo-icon are supposed to close at 14:00.

When we came closer, to the place from which we observe, the soldiers opened the gate they had previously closed and allowed a truck through.  A truck loaded with olive trees also arrived from the Israeli side – the driver got out and went to the inspection room, returned to the truck and went through the checkpoint.

A Palestinian on his way home came running at the last minute and managed to get through before the gates were locked.

While we were there, five vehicles with Israeli plates, their passengers dressed in IDF uniforms, came through the half-opened gate [from the security road].

14:10  Eliyahu crossing – About 7 vehicles waiting briefly to leave Israel – Border Police soldiers check the passengers.

14:30  Jit junction – For a change, we don’t see a military vehicle at the junction, so Palestinian vehicles coming on Route 60 from Jenin/Tulkarm are able to reach Burin, but there we se a Border Police jeep parked diagonally to the road.

14:50  Huwwara checkpoint -  A clump of soldiers next to the inspection point for people entering Nablus doesn’t interfere with the continuous vehicle traffic in both directions.  A soldier approaches us.  We understand from him that Palestinian policemen brought them a man – a Jewish tourist (the soldier wasn’t very clear) who had been wandering around with a knife.

Trying to obtain information from the humanitarian office, we received indirect confirmation of what we’d been told, but they wouldn’t tell us anything about the man.  But we nevertheless were able, from a distance, to see an eccentric-looking person with dreadlocks and a knapsack detained by the soldiers.

15:00  Awarta checkpoint – The yellow metal barrier is closed as usual, preventing people from crossing.

15:10  Beit Furik checkpoint – Traffic flows freely in both directions.

16:15 Za’tara checkpoint – No soldiers at the inspection booths; there are soldiers in the guard towers.  Settler posters on the fences.

16:35  Azzun Atma checkpoint -  Laborers returning from their jobs in the settlements.  Occasionally a line forms.  We’re told that yesterday the line was particularly long.