Hamra (Beqaot), Huwwara, Ma'ale Efrayim, Salfit Checkpoint, Tayasir, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sat 4.2.12, Morning

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Natalie C., and Ruti R.

Translation:  Suzanne O.


Salfit checkpoint

At the entrance to Ariel

9:50 a.m.  ,This checkpoint, which started with 2 soldiers and one small concrete block, is now a real obstacle:  two iron barriers, in the middle – between them – a booth, a lot of concrete blocks and heaped up sandbags.

A big yellow taxi arrived and crossed with no inspection, just with a nod of the head, the documents of the driver and passengers of a similar taxi leaving were also not inspected.

At the entrance on the right there is a new sign "Entrance is solely with a permit from the Security Department of Ariel", and on the left is the familiar red sign "Entrance to Area A", etc.

 Za'tara/Tapuach Junction

10:15 a.m. There is a Border Police jeep and four border police in the car park.

There is a police jeep on the right of the road – the police stop many cars for inspection, they allow us to pass.

 Ma'aleh Ephraim CP

10:40 a.m. There are no soldiers on the road; apparently there are some in the lookout tower.

 At the right hand turn from Hamra we stopped at the Beit Dejan village grocery shop, the village is not connected to the electricity grid, we bought a few things and sat and had coffee with them.

 Hamra CP

11:30 a.m. We arrived as they changed shifts.  There was a Hummer jeep plus a military lorry and about 20 soldiers.

Very slowly 8 cars started to queue from the eastern side.  We were unable to see how many were queuing from the western side of the roadblock.

 11:45 a.m. The checkpoint opened.  From east to west there was no inspection, nine cars crossed within a minute.

From the west – there are two inspection lanes!  This is new! Up to today we have only seen one lane.

Very many leave one after the other after the inspection at the pedestrian crossing.

The taxis which had brought them that get here from Area A, are thoroughly inspected – doors, boot, driver's documents.

Now there are about 30 people in the queue - men, women, children and babies.

 12:00 p.m. Most of the pedestrians have left.

It seems that today the inspections of cars are extremely tough.

A new spectacle:  in the middle of the roadblock, in the west to east lane, a white lorry is parked.  We asked the Palestinians about it:  according to them it has been there for two weeks and is used for inspecting bags.  There is no equipment of any kind in the lorry but 2 soldiers inspect bags manually (not always).  This means they empty the bag and inspect the contents.

 Tayasir CP

12:45 p.m. There are two soldiers, no traffic.

 1.00 p.m. A taxi with six passengers arrives from Area A.  The passengers are allowed across quickly, but the vehicle is inspected slowly.

A lorry arrives from the east– they signal it to stop and the driver shows his documents and opens the lorry cover for inspection.

The driver's documents are inspected at the terminal in the booth, after 3 minutes they are returned and he drives on.

Only then do they wave in an additional car which has been waiting on the western side.

In other words – the roadblock is one way today.

Compared to other days, it takes a long time for each car to be inspected (3 – 5 minutes).

1:20 p.m. We left.

Hamra CP

1:40 p.m. Once again there is a long pedestrian queue.

There are a lot of cars from the west.

Ma'aleh Ephraim CP

2:00 p.m. Empty.

Huwwara CP

2:30 p.m. A jeep with a number of soldiers (4?) is parked at the entrance to Nablus.  They do not hold anyone up but they oversee the traffic.

At the exit from Nablus – there are no soldiers.