'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Habla, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 21.3.13, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
While Barack Obama, the President of the United States, is in Israel giving a speech about peace – a notice posted on the fence of the Huwwara checkpoint announces the establishment of new settlements in Palestinian territory.
Note: While conditions have been eased at the checkpoints in comparison to what we’ve seen in the past, the occupier’s presence has been expanded, as will be seen from this report.
14:00 Habla checkpoint
We arrived as the gate closed. It will reopen only in the evening for laborers returning from work.
14:07 Eliyahu crossing
The driver of a car with Israeli license plates is having his documents checked as he leaves Israel.
14:13 An army jeep is parked before the Ma’aleh Shomron settlement.
14:20 An army pickup truck going in the opposite direction passes us near the Gil’ad Farm.
14:25 Jit junction
A new observation post has been
erected on the northern hill.
14:30 The Israeli police stopped a Palestinian car before the village of Asira al Kabaliyya to ticket it.
14:35 A military jeep drives toward us from the junction of Highway 60 and the Huwwara-Burin road.
We wait at that junction behind a military Hummer for a break in the traffic so we can both turn north toward the Huwwara checkpoint.
14:39 Huwwara checkpoint
Soldiers stationed in the observation tower at the checkpoint, the guard tower at the hitchhiking station at the exit from the Beracha settlement and the hitchhiking station at the settlement’s entrance.
Stones have been arranged in the form of a low wall
on the fence at the Huwwara checkpoint – where the
adjacent area has recently been “upgraded” – and carob trees have been planted, opposite the plaza that has also been “ungraded” – Who paid for the work? What’s it for?
It’s too bad Obama hadn’t been there and didn’t see with his own eyes how the settlements surrounding Nablus are choking the city.
There’s only one notice now on the fence from which the signs posted by the settlers were recently removed: “New localities in Judea and Samaria. To join, call [phone number]. The Nahalasettlement movement.”
14:40 A military truck turns toward the Huwwara DCO.
14:42 Awarta checkpoint
Closed as usual. No access to Nablus.
A military truck next to a military firing range located on the way to the village of Huwwara.
14:45 Beit Furik checkpoint
A minibus driver coming from Beit Dajan says that occasionally the army unexpectedly sets up flying checkpoints at the entrance to the village.
15:05 An army jeep drives through the village of Huwwara.
15:30 Za’tara checkpoint
Soldiers relax in the parking lot. No inspections.
16:00 The bus terminal at the Oranit settlement
We waited to see whether the police arrive. The police have been in the habit of making Palestinians get off the bus and not allowing them to continue. The police didn’t come. Let’s hope that continues. In any event, we’ll keep checking.
16:50 Azzun Atma checkpoint.
There was no congestion while we were there as laborers returned home through the checkpoint.