'Azzun, Beit Furik, Beit Iba, Deir Sharaf, Huwwara, Shave Shomron, Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 8.5.11, Morning

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Ada H. and Hanna A. (reporting)


Izbat Tabib (not) checkpoints Nablus                                                                                                                          

The settlements thrive. Remains of checkpoints and watchtowers are a reminder and warning of possible army action at any moment.  Army vehicles assert presence on roads.  On the main road of the village Hawarra trade is developing.

We set out after a long absence from the Nablus area.  But first we turned to Izbat Tabib as we had been invited to meet people there.

11.30 Izbat Tabib.  We met M. on whose land next to route 55 the military plan to put a fence.  There were a few international volunteers and a few men, women and children of the village.  They piled dry grasses on M’s wagon. While we were there military vehicles of the DCO passed now and then on the road to 'Azzun.  They would pause a while and then continue. One of the international volunteers, A., said that the soldiers told the people to leave.  But while we were there we did not see them physically preventing people from working.

Dalia and Dvorka arrived and when we saw the people continuing to work, we left at 12.10  and continued to Nablus checkpoints.

We drove via 'Azzun (10 minutes) and returned to route 55.  We passed  Kedumim which spreads over both sides of the road, with permanent stone-covered buildings.

G'it  Punduk:  At the G’it junction  we saw cars continuing to Sirah,  turning to Route 60 to reach Hawarra. At Yizhar, too, we saw continuing expansion.  In the square at the approach to Hawarra soldiers were manning the watchtower as well as the watch point at the ascent to Har Bracha.  The checkpoint itself seemed abandoned.  Weeds abound.  Cars travel unimpeded in both directions. The pillbox appears manned.  We turned towards ‘Madison route’. A sign advertises a women’s clothes shop opened in the local council area and further there is an improvised notice saying in English ‘to Awarta only’ with an arrow pointing right.

A yellow metal bar blocks what was once the way to theback to back checkpoint and to Nablus and there are no soldiers on guard.

12.55 Beit Furik is not manned traffic is free in both directions. On a concrete pillar in the direction away from Nablus (where once was written ‘death to Arabs’) is now handwritten “No turn left” (i.e., towards Elon Moreh).

13.48  Where ‘Haviot' checkpoint was previously,  there are means of closing but the road is open.

13.58  Similarly where once Shavei Shomron checkpoint was, the opening that had been made in the wall, which joined the road to the army camp has been blocked.  On the wall itself there is a fence.

In the area of the previous Beit Iba checkpoint, the quarry works and spreads. No sign of the factory ‘Juneidi.’

In order to pass Zatrah, we returned via Hawarra. The main road of Hawarra is full of signs advertising new products and businesses.  Some are written in Hebrew.  They invite passers-by to take part in the opening of Palestinian commerce.

14.23Zatrah is manned by Border Police.  7 cars are in line.  The policeman peers through the window of each car.

And at Ma’avar Shomron (Shomron Crossing) we once again enjoyed the privilege of being ‘white.’