'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 10.11.11, Morning

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Observing and reporting: Esti W., Shosh D., Nava E.

Translator:  Charles K.


An unusual day, because of, or despite, the holiday.

06:30  Azzun Atma:  An unusual sight greeted us when we arrived at the checkpoint:  three handcuffed young men, blindfolded with strips of flannel, lying behind two plastic barriers.  The solitary soldier guarding the checkpoint reports they’d been brought by a group of soldiers who’d caught them nearby trying to cut the fence.  They’ve been waiting more than an hour for the police, who are taking their time arriving.

 The soldier told us he had to blindfold them so they couldn’t escape.  He’s there alone, except for the MP.  Where are the other soldiers?  You won’t believe this:  there are fleas in the guard tower so they’ve reduced the number of soldiers stationed here.

The line is very long,even though the holiday hasn’t ended and we wouldn’t have expected people to be going to work.  Apparently the need to make a living takes precedence.

No police present at the Shomron crossing for people leaving Israel.

The entrances to Marda and Zeita are open.

 Za’tara/Tapuach:  One male and one female soldier in the inspection booths, but traffic isn’t delayed.

 Yitzhar/Burin checkpoint:  No military activity.

07:10  Driving up Har Bracha:  The soldier inspects Palestinian cars driving up the hill.

A military vehicle parked at the entrance to Itamar.

07:20  Beit Furik:  A flying checkpoint at the entrance to the village.  Soldiers set up a spike barrier; traffic is stopped on both sides.  We bypass the line and try to find out from the soldiers the reason for the delay.  They simply don’t understand the question.  We were told in the village that this happens routinely, from time to time.  We asked the DCO, who told us they knew about the checkpoint.  The checkpoint was still there when we left the village, but almost none of the vehicles leaving were being checked.

Awarta:  The yellow barrier arm still prevents free passage.

07:45  No soldiers at the Huwwara checkpoint.

Burin/Yizhar:  No military activity.

08:25  Za’tara/Tapuach:  No soldiers in the positions.  Traffic police in the parking lot, but we don’t see them bothering the Palestinians.

At the Shomron crossing we’re asked where we’re from (Ramat Hasharon, we answered), and a policewoman asked us to open the trunk.