Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 5.3.08, Afternoon

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Millete S., Sharon L., Karin L. (reporting)

Translation: Hanna K.

On the way to Huwwara: At  Marda  - the gate is open.
At  Zeita  - the gate is shut.

14:30 Za'tara/Tapuah junction :
On the lift side of the road leading to Huwwara two handcuffed men with their eyes bound, are sitting with their back to the road. Near them there are a few soldiers, policemen and demolition experts, a military vehicle and a vehicle carrying the demolition experts.  One of the soldiers came up to us and asked us politely to retreat 1-2 meters, so that we shouldl not be hurt "if there is another explosion".
To our question they replied that they caught the two terrorists trying to pass a mortar (don't you see the remnants?) and other war materials (we saw next to them a few broken pipes) and that they were waiting for them to be transferred.

14:40 Huwwara CP:
The presence of many soldiers, officers and DCO people as compared to that of very few Palestinians we very evident.
In the checking celle there was a man without handcuffs. When we asked about him it transpired that he was waiting for a security check.
Few people enter Nablus, without being checked.
According to the soldiers there are no limitations imposed on those leaving Nablus. The waiting time is approximately 20 minutes, from the moment a person reaches the CP until he leaves. The shed is always full, but there is no pressure. The people pass in two queues, through two turnstiles, there are beeps, coats are removed, belts and even watches. The woman pass at the humanitarian gate. From time to time some bags are taken to be checked in the X-Ray Machine. Everything progresses quietly and calmly and this is really depressing. We leave for Beit Furik.

15:20 Beit Furik:
The driver of a big truck, loaded with wooden planks waits patiently to enter (about 20 minutes) saying that the exit queue is very long, one cannot see how many cars and trucks are waiting to leave, but every 2-3 minutes a car leaves, after its passengers were checked outside of it, as well as the booth.
From time to time 2-3 cars are allowed to enter in the opposite direction, and then again they return to the cars that with to leave.
At every given moment there are about 10-20 pedestrians at the exit, they pass, are being checked, as well as their IDs and their bags, outside the damaged facilities.
There are few ingoing pedestrians, their IDs and bags are also checked.

16:00 We return to Huwwara.
On the way we see a tractor digging on a completely deserted ridge, to the right of the road. We tried to find out what was happening there and where exactly , but after a tortuous drive among the isolated buildings on the hills of Yitamar which are quite distant from each other, we despaired of finding our way to this "new building site?" .
16:20 Huwwara:
A man turned to us by the intermediary of a Hebrew speaking friend, asking us to help him obtain an authorization to bring his sick mother in his car for medical treatment in Nablus. Millete called Nomi L. who promised to do her best.
The detainee from the checking shed has been released. Still there are relatively few people leaving Nablus, among them Students with all their learning apparel. The passage at the CP takes about 7 minutes. There are no pedestrians.
A few cars pass after presenting their certificates.
16:50 We left. The Za'tara junction is empty.