Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 1.11.07, Morning

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Edna K., Rachel a. (Reporting)


Translation: Rachel B.

The whole system is on alert in preparation for the visit by the members of the Knesset Security & Foreign Relations Committee.

6:45 AM - A phone call from Naomi: at Huwwara soldiers beat up Nizar, the son of Nu'af who owns the coffee stall.  By chance, Zachariah Sa'ada was there, on his way to Jerusalem, and he captured the incident on video and also tried to intervene but then retreated when the violence was directed at him, in order not to risk another arrest.

Za'atra: 7:15 AM

There are 20 cars approaching from the west and none from the north.

Huwwara: 7:30 AM

The coffee stall is operating but we are told about the incident.  Nizar tells us that soldier A. threw him against the bus parked in the lot and that he sustained an injury to his head.  Apparently this incident was not any more violent or severe than the "usual" abuse suffered by his family, but unluckily for the soldier, this time it is documented on film and the District Coordination Office officer T. says that it will be {properly} addressed. Zachariah calls to tell us that the District Coordination Office commander already called him to request a copy of the video. 

Nevertheless, after about a quarter of an hour the Palestinians call us over and we see 3 soldiers approaching Nu'af and demanding that he dismantle his coffee stall and leave the area.

The District Coordination Office commander says that he reported the situation but does not have the authority to annul the order of the checkpoint commander.  His {the checkpoint commander} official explanation is that the parking lot is a military area (?!)

Throughout this whole time there are about 10 people waiting on the western approach to the turnstiles and no cars in line.

Beit Fureik 9:00 AM

Surprise!  The soldiers receive us warmly.

There are 2 positions open for processing cars.  There are no lines for either cars or pedestrians. 

When we arrive at the place, we see a young man with severe mental retardation, accompanied by his mother and grandmother.  It turns out that the young man ran through the checkpoint and his mother ran after him to bring him back though she did not have an ID card on her.  The soldier is requiring the mother to go back to the village and bring her ID card.  In the end, with the aid of Edna mediating in Arabic, the soldier relents and lets them go home without {returning and} presenting an ID card.

In the parking lot a 14 year guy approaches us with his birth certificate which bears his pictures.  He tells us that he tried to enter Nablus but was turned away because he was not accompanied by his parents.  He says that his father has died and his mother is waiting for him in Nablus. He has a copy of his mother's ID card.  Edna convinces him to try to resolve the situation with our help. After an initially refusing, the soldiers are willing to check by phone if the identifying information in his documents is correct, including the claim that his father has died.  They then let him through anyway, without his mother's chaperoning.

Huwwara 9:45 AM

Back to Huwwara. Behind the turnstiles are about 40-50 people.  The wait is about half an hour.  Even though there are numerous soldiers at the checkpoint (who seem to have plenty of time to get into arguments with us), only 2 stations are open beside the "humanitarian" line.  After a request to the District Coordination Office, at 10:40 AM, an additional station is opened.

The District Coordination Office commander, Lieutenant R., arrives and handles the problem of reopening the coffee stall.  This "war" between the District Coordination Office and the checkpoint commander succeeded today and Nu'af has returned with his stall.

At 11:00 AM we had to leave.  See the continuation in the report by Hannah Berg!!