Huwwara, Jit, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 14.10.07, Morning

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Yael B., Ditzah Y (Reporting)

Rachel B., Translation
The intolerable ease with which the I.D.F opens up {new} checkpoints that delay the Palestinian travelers by several hours beyond those they already spend at permanent checkpointsinfo-icon..

Za'tara: 7:40 AM

10 cars are at the west-east checkpoint.  There are no cars at the north-south checkpoint.

Yitzhar Junction 7:45 AM

There are 10 cars waiting.

Huwwara: 7:55 AM

Several drivers approach us and tell us about what happened yesterday at the Yitzhar Junction - cars had to wait for 2 hours.

8:50 AM
A teenage boy is returned to Nablus and we overhear a soldier {saying}: "Bring you father!  If you don't go {back to Nablus} you'll sit here for 5 hours!"

When we ask the soldier why the boy was sent back we are told "Because he caused a raucous."

8:20 AM Very light traffic to and from Nablus.  Those coming out of town: mostly families who are well dressed - evidently to celebrate the end of Eid El Fetr, which takes place today.  The children stand out especially in their festive clothes.

8:25 AM A young man who exits the turnstiles stops to talk to us.  the soldier yells at him: "Clear the turnstile area!"  The young man answers him that he is talking to us.  The soldier: "Talk to them outside the area of the checkpoint! Talk to them in the sewer!"

There is light traffic to and from Nablus.

8:55 AM A Palestinian man wants to go through with his car towards Nablus.  He does not have a permit to enter the town, but says that he is not actually going into town but, rather , to his house which is very near the checkpoint. He claims that he is usually permitted to go through.  The soldier checking him does not allow him to get through.  And here, we find our selves trapped in the checkpoint maze.  By the time we ourselves got through the windy checkpoint, the man had turned his car around and gone back.

9:50 AM There are about 30 people at the checkpoint.  The District Coordination Office commander on location observes the way things are proceeding at the turnstiles.  We hear him calling towards a female soldier: "What kind of behavior is this?"  She, on her part, mumbles something in response.  He was not willing to tell us what the soldier did that was wrong.

10:10 AM We left the checkpoint.

10:15 Yitzhar Junction

There are 23 cars at the checkpoint.

11:00 AM We return to Yitzhar Junction: there are 33 cars waiting.  When we ask the commander why the line is so long we are told: "It's a checkpoint!"  The actual examinations of each car are, indeed, proceeding rather quickly - a minute or two per car- but there is heavy traffic and thus the passengers have to wait a long time here.

We call the I.D.F. Humanitarian Center and are referred to the spokesperson - Tzidki.  He listens to Yael  patiently and promises to look into the matter.

11:15 AM We were given a report that there is a long line at the Jit Junction so we go over there.  There are 45 cars at the checkpoint.  Several drivers who are already rather close to the checkpoint itself tell us they have been waiting for an hour. We report to Tzidki again about what's going on at Jit. He seems willing to take care of the problem.

11:30 AM Tzidki tells us that the high level of pressure and long lines at the checkpoints is due to the combined factors of the end of the holiday, with many people traveling away from home, and a security alert in the region.

Powerless to do anything, we leave the checkpoint.