Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Habla, Huwwara, Jit Junction , Madama

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Carol Cook, Fathiya (reporting); Translator: Tal H.


13:45 Habla –pressure mounting, numerous vehicles in line for a fastidious inspection. A man with a cart and three horses speaking fluent Hebrew emerges from the inspection and begins to swear: Is this Israeli democracy? Israeli democracy exists only on paper. I pass here three times a day, back and forth, and am inspected every single time.l


15:00 Jit Junction – three army jeeps circulate around, and another two are seen – one on the hill, the other standing on the road.


15:05 Madama – following notification in Al Ittihad newspaper on Tuesday, January 12th, that the army has informed villagers in Madama, Burin, Sara, Awarta and Yanoun that some of their lands would be confiscated for 'security' needs. In other words, in order to position military posts at various points on the Yitzhar road and Yanoun. The northern lands border on Awarta, and the southern – on Yanoun. We asked people if they heard about this and they affirmed but did not know exactly where. We called the head of the local council, who told us that no one knows where, and no one has yet appealed to the council. I told him that the person who notified the newspaper is the person in charge of the settlement desk at the PA. The council chairman wished to check this, and consequently got back to us and said that within two days he would call me with more details. Villagers of Madama have complained of nightly raids on homes by the army, during which two young men were arrested: one of them, 25 years old and disabled, has been held in custody at Petah Tiqwa for over two weeks. He was arrested because his two brothers are in jail.


13:35 Beit Furik – the checkpoint is manned. We stood at the entrance to the village and waited to see what was happening. An army jeep arrived immediately, letting off soldiers. The commander, who seemed to be a settler, told us we were not allowed to move around this area. We answered that it is our job. He insisted that he is responsible for our safety. We persisted, so he said this was a new instruction. We left and went back to Huwwara. The checkpoint is manned, the main road congested, and it took us half an hour to get away from there and reach the Juwwara-Yitzhar road junction. Many soldiers and police were there, directing vehicles to the Yitzhar road. They would not let anyone enter Huwwara, including Palestinians, said something was going on and that the road was sealed off all the way to Zaatara-Tapuah Junction.


16:00 – Checkpoint at the entrance to Sara village – thorough inspection of all vehicles and passengers. A horrible traffic jam ensued, apparently beginning at the other end of the village, on its Nablus side.