'Awarta, 'Azzun 'Atma, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Shomron Crossing, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 29.8.13, Morning

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Observing and reporting: Esti A.,Nava E.

Translator:  Charles K.


Military presence is felt, as well as occasional intrusion into Palestinian lives.


06:25  Azzun Atma CP.  Many, many Palestinians wait on the roadside for their employers.  The four computer stations are operating at the checkpoint and there are almost no lines.  Four Palestinians are detained off to the side.  They said they were caught going through a hole in the fence.  There don’t have work permits; the fourth has a permit to go through the Eyal checkpoint.  They’re now waiting for their IDs to be returned so they can go home.  They won’t cross today.  They asked whether we could help; when we said no they responded, more or less – what good are you?

But at the holes in the fence it’s business as usual.  We saw two soldiers on their way to another round of catching people slipping through.


Shomron crossing:  No police at the exit from Israel.


07:00  Za’tara/Tapuach CP:  No soldiers at the checkpoint.  A military vehicle on station in the center of the plaza.


Huwwara CP:  Two military vehicles, one on each side of the town.


Yitzhar/Burin CP:  No military activity.


07:35  Beit Furik CP:  No military presence at the checkpoint.

The town’s children are back in school; they fill the streets.


07:45  Awarta CP:  The yellow metal bar blocks passage.


07:45  Huwwara:  The checkpoint isn’t manned.  Its lights are on.


Yitzhar/Burin CPs:  No soldiers.


08:00  Za’tara/Tapuach CP:  The positions aren’t manned.  A dog handler and dog sniff around a Palestinian car in the parking lot.  The five passengers sit some distance away in an area fenced with razor wire.  The dog handler refuses to talk to us, as does the soldier she’s with.  They asked us to move away and not interfere.


Shomron crossing:  This time we remembered to remove the identifying signs and crossed with no problems, straight into the Highway 5 traffic jam.


Summer vacation has ended in Israel.  Palestinians have gone back to school, but freedom is far away.