'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Wed 28.11.12, Morning
9:00 am - We entered the WestBank at the Shomron crossing. We passed the Za'tara junction where everything was quiet. We didn't see any soldiers.
Huwwara checkpoint was also quiet and the traffic was flowing smoothly. On the way to the Beit Furik checkpoint we passed the Awarta checkpoint that had been used for "back to back" transfer of goods and produce. It was now standing empty and unused, just like the huge checkpoint at Huwwara. Beit Furik checkpoint was also open and, at that point, empty. The road to Alon Moreh settlement, that had been a "Jewish only" road was now open to all traffic, But we assumed that it was not open all the way to the settlement.
We drove through Awarta. Many places of business were closed and locked. The competition from Huwwara and Nablus is too strong for them. We heard this from a small grocery store owner that was open where we stopped to drink and talk. In answer to our question the owner said that he was uninterested in Abu Mazen's request for the acceptance of Palestine into the United Nations as a state without formal membership. He really didn't care. "If something good comes out of this for the daily life of the Palestinians, then it's good, but we don't have high hopes." And also he is not satisfied with Abu Mazen and how he's running the PA. "Abu Mazen doesn't do anything for us. We just want to live a decent life." We asked how he thinks we, Israeli peace activists (Machsom Watch), could help. "You also can't do anything. And look at the Arab world. What have they done for us? Given us money? Our leaders take the money and run. There's nothing in it for the average Palestinian." With this disheartening assessment, we bought a box of cookies from Turkey, a small bag of potato chips from Nablus and two small bottles of Tapuzina from Israel. We went on to Huwwara to eat falafel.
It was not easy driving through Awarta as there was heavy machinery digging a ditch along the main street. We assumed that this was for laying sewage pipes which would be a step up for the village, probably funded by Europe. We picked up two women and a young man on their way to Huwwara. The women had never heard of Machsom Watch as an organization, but they did have a remembrance of Israeli women standing sometimes at the checkpoint into Nablus.
At 11:10 am we left through the Eliyahu crossing.