'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Tayasir, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sat 13.8.11, Morning

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Natalie K, Ruthi R.

Translation: Bracha B.A.

09:45 – Shomron Gate – Entrance to Israel

There is no line and few cars are going into the West Bank.   To our surprise there were no police.  (usually on Saturdays we see police here.)    At the junction to Ariel, at the right hand turn towards Salfit there was a checkpoint and the two soldiers informed us that the checkpoint is open from 04:00 until 20:00 for public transportation only.   There was no traffic while we were there.

10:10 – Tapuach Junction

A car with two Palestinians is stopped while their documents are checked.   Next to them are two army jeeps and ten soldiers in the parking lot.  At the checkpoint itself no one is being stopped and there are no police.

10:20 – Huwwara  Checkpoint

There are no soldiers at the checkpoint and traffic is moving through without being stopped.  There is a soldier in the watchtower and no police, and we pass through.

10:25 – Beit Furik Checkpoint

There are no soldiers present.  There are also no soldiers behind the checkpoint in the direction of Nablus, as we sometimes see here. 

10:40 – Awarta Checkpoint

As usual the checkpoint is closed with a metal bar.

11:40 – Tapuach Junction

There are two soldiers in the small positions by the road and cars are going through quickly.

11:55 – Maaleh Efraim Checkpoint

There are no soldiers present.

12:510 – Hamra Checkpoint

There are 4 soldiers present.  People coming from Nablus are meticulously checked.  People are checked relatively quickly as compared to last week when the inspections took an unreasonably long time:  people come to the window, show their documents, and are through in less than three minutes.  Cars going towards the West Bank are not checked and merely wait to be waved through.  Two young military policemen approach us and ask if there is a problem.  They wear awful black armbands.   

13:00 – Tayasir Checkpoint

Two soldiers are checking cars.  A taxi arrives with ten passengers with children to be checked.  They all pass through within seven minutes.   Unlike at the Hamra Checkpoint, cars going towards the West Bank are also being checked.  It takes about the same amount of time for the next taxi to cross. 

13:40 – Hamra Checkpoint

There are now six soldiers here.  Cars are crossing through without any delay.

14:00 – Maaleh Efraim

There are no soldiers present.

14:15 – Tapuach Junction

There are 6 soldiers at the checkpoint as well as several policemen.  Three Israeli cars and a truck are parked on the road waiting (to be reported or checked?)  The rest cross through without delay.