Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 17.1.08, Morning

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reporting: Esti W., Rachel A. and Nava E.

Translation: Hanna K.

Winter in the Territories: Everything is frozen, beginning with the puddles at the sides of the road and ending with the Peace Negtotiations.

06:30 There is no checking of the Border Police at the Samaria Gate. When we shall return they will be at their posts.

The entrances to Marda and Zeita are empty, the blockade at Zeita continues.

06:45 Za'tara/Tapuach Junction:
There are 14 cars coming from the west waiting, and about 20 coming from Huwwara. In a short while the queue becomes even longer and the officer opens another checking track.
The CP soldiers have again been changed. This time they are cadets of the squad commanders training school. They behave politely towards us.

07:05 At the Yitzhar/Burin CPs there is no checking.

At Huwwara:
The pedestrian queue at the moment is short. The Okez (The dogs unit)  girl soldiers are absent and the "Gideonites" (a unit in the IDF)  are doing their bit. The DCO representative maintains a relaxed atmosphere and a heating stove. We saw the red line but nobody prevented us from going around the aread. We found a leaflet that had been handed out to the soldiers by the "blue-white" ladies (please see attached).There is nobody in the solitary confinement and in the detention shed there is a group of Palestinians waiting for their friends in the queue and taking refuge from the freezing cold.

07:35 Beit Furik:
About a dozen cars are waiting at the exit of the village. Very quickly there is pressure in the queue behind the pedestrian turnstiles, which reaches beyond the shed. We reported to the DCO in the hope that they would open another checking queue.
The new checking process for cars goes on, and each driver has to leave the car with his papers and march in the direction of the soldiers. As a result the queue of those waiting on the other side of the road becomes bigger.

08:30 Awarta
The parking lot is deserted, there are two trucks at the exit from Nablus. We ate (and bought) wonderful olives.

08:40 Huwwara:
There is a large number of people leaving the town waiting to be checked. Wrapped babies make their way from one parking lot to the other, carried by a parent.  

At the Yitzhar/Burin junction there is no activity.

Tapuach/Za'tara junction: 20 cars coming from Huwwara are waiting and 20 coming from the west, including a learners car which thus wastes the time of the lesson.
Contrary to the Palestinian and the soldiers we have a choice and we flee the cold.