'Azzun, Beit Furik, Eliyahu Crossing, Huwwara, Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 23.6.13, Morning

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Ana S., Aliyah S. (reporting)
9:40  We entered the territories through the Shomron Gate. Everything was quiet there.
Za'atra (Tapuach Junction) The Israeli police were in the inner area and several Palestinian cars were also in there. We could not see what action was being taken. There were 2 soldiers by the pick-up stop on the road to Ramallah, but they were just standing and talking.
The Huwwara checkpoint was empty and silent. The road into and out of Nablus was open and the cars were moving in both directions. There were no soldiers visible on the ground, but they were probably in the tower.
The Beit Furik checkpoint was empty, as usual. We saw a military jeep standing on the side of the road near the Beit Dajan junction.
We stopped to see our favorite valley. Two weeks ago it was all harvested and brown, and almost empty; just one small herd of sheep could be seen grazing. This time there were several herds of sheep and goats in the valley. As we stood there a large flock of sheep and goats came from the direction of the main road and passed us. We pressed up against Nadim's car as they went by and almost stepped on our toes. But we didn't interest them. They hurried down the steep decline into the valley. We could see 4 large yellow water tankers on wheels at various places in the valley. Then we noticed a tractor bringing another yellow water tanker. The shepherd on his donkey hurried toward the tanker; the animals hurried with him. They met in the valley. The shepherd pulled out a large open container from under the tanker and the animals jostled for a place by the container to drink. Ahh,water!
At the Yitzhar junction we could see a large area of the hillside that had been burned; it was all black. The story we heard was that a military jeep had been standing at the junction by the hillside. The jeep drove off and then people noticed that the area was on fire! The firebrigade from Burin came quickly and put out the blaze. The burnt area was not too large. No one can say for sure if the soldiers started the fire. One of them may have carelessly thrown out a cigarette butt. But perhaps someone else threw out a match or a butt. In the dry weeds by the road it is very easy for a fire to start. On the way to Qaddum we saw workers at the roadside cleaning out the dry weeds. This is perhaps necessary to prevent fires, as much as possible.
The road into Azzoun is again open. We left by the Eliyahu Gate at 11:45. This time the guard asked to see our ID cards. We said we were from Tel Aviv.