Huwara: Prevent women and children from joining a family event

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Dalia V., Nurit V.L. (reporting)

Summary: Light traffic, there is a roadblock at Burin (Yitzhar) Junction, there are significant hold-ups inspecting cars entering Nablus.
An illustration of how difficult it is to live in prison is Beit Furiq.

7:10 a.m. Za’atra (Tapuach) Junction empty. The chanukiah standing in the middle of the roundabout declares defiantly “We are here!” According to the roadblock commander, there are no limitations for those crossing.

Burin (Yitzhar) Junction7:20 a.m. The roadblock is reinforced and functioning. When we arrived there were eight vehicles. The inspection is fairly slow but the queue moves.

Huwwara7:35 a.m.The roadblock is almost empty; the vehicle lane is almost empty too. Even so, each vehicle is checked meticulously. The taxi being checked from the moment we arrived is held up for an additional twenty minutes. It was simply unloaded and put back together again. In the inspection lane from the direction of Nablus five to six soldiers crowd together all the time, including the commander. The opposite lane is not permanently staffed. Each car that arrives waits a long time (5 – 15 minutes) until the commander makes up his mind and instructs the soldiers to go and inspect it. After it happened a few times we complained to the commander. It didn’t really help. In spite of the low number of people and cars crossing the behavior was bad and inconsiderate. At a certain point, a car with an Israeli number plate arrived and moved forward – when the driver got fed up with waiting – to the checkpoint without being instructed to do so. A soldier jumped up and shouted to the driver: “Did someone tell you to cross? Reverse back to the green bin!” After being held up for ten minutes he was allowed to cross anyway. There are no limitations for crossing today.
The pedestrian lane: there are two checkpoints and a humanitarian lane. The inspection includes removing belts and raising topcoats. The soldiers talk among themselves in loud voices over the heads of those crossing. Here too the inspection is slow, but not inordinately. At least the soldiers noticed when someone forgot his telephone at the checkpoint and ran after him to return it.8:45 a.m.Two Swiss photographers who have been in Israel for almost a year are given permission to take photographs. The soldiers do not object to photographs. They are pleased to meet us and are aware of our activities.
They have already been to various roadblocks. They want to know if they can use the apartheid road in the direction of Beit Furiq.

Beit Furiq 9:00 a.m. When we arrived the roadblock was empty. We were ordered not to cross the imaginary line.
After a number of minutes, two women with two small children arrived wishing to go into Beit Furik for a family visit. It’s the middle of the morning. In their I.D. cards, it says that they live in Nablus. Of course, they are denied permission to cross, but the conversation is held in loud voices and at the corner of the inspection lane across from armed soldiers. The children burst into tears. From a distance, we asked them not to shout because the children are frightened!!! The women retreat behind the turnstiles. We were unable to help them. In spite of the refusal, they remained to wait for salvation which would not come. Is better evidence needed of the prison-like conditions of two villages: Beit Furiq and Beit Dejan? Or of the influence of the roadblocks on children?!

Awarta9:30 a.m.The traffic flows. There is no crowding.

9:40 a.m. Back to Huwwara
The traffic is a little heavier. The problem of hold-ups for the cars coming from the south has not been solved, on the contrary, the roadblock commander spoke on the telephone for over ten minutes close to the waiting cars (four in number), and for the length of the conversation did not signal to his soldiers to go and check them. We spoke to him about it again and emphasized that we are aware that the inspection can only be done in the presence of two soldiers. One of the soldiers did his work while cracking nuts! We contacted the Centre and asked for the DCO representative to come in order to make them work more efficiently. Burin (Yitzhar) Junction10:15 a.m.There are about twenty vehicles in two messy lines in front of the roadblock. We again contacted the Centre to ask them to send DCO reinforcement. The end!