Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Fri 27.6.08, Morning

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Nili P., Michal W. Ofra T. reporting
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Translation: Hanna K.

8.45 At the entrance to the WestBank, at the Samaria passage, plastic barriers slow down the entrance, and policemen look closely at each entering car.

9.00 Beit Furik

It is clean (a workman passes and sweeps continuously) and quiet. Nobody even comes up to bother us.

9.30 Huwwara

A girl dog-trainer, an x-ray machine, a cleaner. Relative to Fridays we see a long queue of men, women and children, standing quietly in one lane. Many women with babies in their arms. There is no humanitarian queue. The CP commander is fair and polite, explains that the minitary policewoman at  the toilets.

9.40 Finally the military policewoman returns and a humanitarian queue is opened. There is one lane for entering and coming cars. While the dog sniffs the cars leaving Nablus the women with the babies in their arms stand in the scorching sun.

10.00 Za'tara

A truck is detained at the parking lot. We parked next to it. It turns out that this is a new truck that has not yet received a number plate. It was detained for clarifications. Two hours already. A few men wait around it, they bring fruit to Ramallah. One of them who talks Hebrew explains to us that with the Palestinian bureaucracy it takes about three months to get a new number plate for a new car and in the meantime one drives with a cardboard plate. The fruit boils in the scorching heat, and their market hours are reduced.

At the parking lot a military jeep stops and an officer and another man without military rank get out of it. When Nili approaches the soldiers to find out what is happening with the truck, he instructs her to move away and to stand by our car. Then he comes up to us, with a smile, and asks us politely to introduce ourselves. When we ask him to introduce himself saying "you first". All this takes place with a smile and laughter. But later on he tells us to move the car to the far end of the parking lot and to stand next to it. He also has an explanation: the parking lot is intended for a different purpose, not for ordinary citizens to park in it!?  Despirte the blue-white marked on the margins (the explanation was so unfounded that I immediately forgot it, I regret to say). We refuse. We explain to him that we have the right to stand at the parking lot. But the man has an opinion of his own about our task and our place.  According to his opinion our aim at the CPs is to "sharpen the soldiers' task for them" and this we can also do from afar. But we refuse to "sharpen the soldiers task" from the point he wishes to throw us to. He still refuses to tell us his name, his rank and his function. He just announces that he is very senior, very very important, he is above everybody - the CP commander. The DCO etc. The only thing left for him to do is to threaten us that he will call the police for us. How frightening! He leaves us. He doesn't smile anymore, he isn't Mr. sweet lips anymore.

We contacted a man from the DCO asking him to find out, and if possible speed up the handling of the fruit truck. Perhaps owing to him, some time later the truck is allowed to proceed on its way. We too leave. Rambo (this is how the Palestinians called the military man who tried to chase us away, when he left the jeep and hopped in the direction of the reservists at the CP) is seen taking note of our car number. What a man, what a man.

10:40 Samaria Passage:
6 young man stand with their backs to the CP, face to the fence, hands high on the fence. Until we stopped, parked and went up to them, they already stood and argued with the Border policemen. One of them fluent in Hebrew, explained that he had underwent an operation on his foot at the Ichilov hospital. He has documents. After the operation he had the shocking idea to go to the Jewish sea. The others are his friends who, so it seemed, accompanied him. How did they succeed to penetrate the line of fences and CPs? 
We didn't ask. Six young man who had the idea to go to the forbidden sea. The young man tells us that the violence they are experiencing because of the occupation will harm not only the Palestinians, but us too.
This is already too much for the young border-policeman, he has had enough of hearing speeches and crazy ideas from people who stay illegally in the country, and he drives the group away with "yallah, yallah" and "you have finished talking now disappear" etc.
And indeed, when Michal turns to him with her quiet voice accompanied with a slight movement of her hand, he immediately shows her his violence and screams: "don't lift your hands on me!!!!" another man, what a man.