Ar-Ras, Beit Iba, Jubara (Kafriat), Wed 3.10.07, Afternoon

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Dalia G., Michal S.

Translation:  Judith Green

14:40 – Jubara

A line of about 15 vehicles in the direction of Israel, but moving.

14:55 – A-Ras

At the exit from Jabara to A-Ras the pedestrians wait for a one-by-one inspection, and pass through.  No vehicles at A-Ras.  Whoever arrives from Tulkarm is checked quickly.  Going into Tulkarm, there is no inspection.

We see an older woman walking in the heat with a huge bundle on her head.  Dalia offers her a ride.  When we stop near her house in the village of  Jimal, the woman is so thankful that she invites us in.  In her house (which includes a room for the animals:  goats, donkey and a horse), she brings us refreshments, even though everyone in the house is observing the Ramadan fast..  Ahmad, the brother of the woman we helped, tells us that, a few days ago, some soldiers came at 2 AM and took away his and his son's work permits.  This was after his son (Mahmud) was caught working in the vicinity of the fence with his brother's work permit (Hacham).  Now Ahmad and his two sons are left without any income (Ahmad actually was working in Israel).  Then the woman gives us some necklaces and, after a few photographs, we leave at 15:45.

16:20 - Beit Iba

 No vehicles at the entrance to Nablus.  The cars are checked one by one, but relatively quickly.  At the exit from Nablus a bus is checked without taking out all of the passengers.  On the next bus, the men are taken out for inspection.  At the checkpoint were 3 volunteers from the World Council of Churches.

There were 2 detaineesinfo-icon:  one, a policeman, 33 yrs old, from Jenin.  He says that he has been in detention since 11:30 because he refused to give the soldiers his uniform.  The soldiers confiscated his cellphone and his money.  His hands were handcuffed behind his back.  He complained of pains and showed us that the handcuffs were very tight.  The soldier refused to loosen the pressure a bit, on the grounds that the policeman had attacked a soldier.  The volunteers said that they had telephoned the Humanitarian Hotline.  We call again, and are told that the case is being handled.

The second detainee was 24, from Azoun.  He travelled on the forbidden road to Kuchin.  In addition to the 2 detainees, every few minutes a group of youths were brought in for about 20 minutes.  A soldier (Alex) stood next to the inspection booth and, every few minutes, would ask the soldier who was inspecting the bags, "Send me one".  The soldier picked randomly one of the people going through the checkpoint and sent him to Alex.  They would be taken for inspection into the cell for a few minutes and then released.

We called Naomi concerning the handcuffs. 

16:40 - At the entrance there is a line because of the inspection of a wagon with bundles.  A truck is inspected and sent back – not allowed through.

17:00 – The checkpoint is empty except for the soldiers, 2 detainees, the foreign volunteers and us.  We call the Hotline again, they say they will get back to us and that the incident is being investigated.  Dalia asks the checkpoint commander about the policeman, and he answers her that he is waiting for the police.  Naomi says that the DCO claims that they are responsible for the case.

17:30 – the fast is over, we remind the soldiers to give the detainees, who haven't drunk all day, some water.  The detainees refuse to take the water from the soldiers and we bring them our water.  The young detainee is forced to "water" the handcuffed policeman.  The policeman is groaning in pain and tries to loosen the strong grip of the handcuffs.  He asks the other detainee for help.  The soldiers notice and separate them, saying "Each one at another end of the bench."

17:45 – The international volunteers leave the checkpoint.

18:00 – The policeman let Naomi know that they have given notice that they are not taking the policeman.  The DCO says that an order has already been given to release the detainee and that he in fact has just been released.  The checkpoint commander says that he will release the policeman only when he gets an order from his officer, and that such an order has not yet been given.  Dalia tries to get the commanding officer, but he doesn't answer.  The young detainee is released after 3 hours.  The soldier tells him that he can go home, but without his car.  It is dark and there are no taxis.

18:45 - We leave the checkpoint.  The policeman, who has been detained since 11:30, has not been to the bathroom and is still fasting since yesterday, still in handcuffs.  We think that the order to release him is stuck in military bureaucracy, in order to punish him.  Perhaps when we leave the area it will be easier for the soldiers to release him.  We take his phone number.

In the evening, Miki calls the number and somebody else answers the phone;  apparently it is not the correct number.