Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 15.9.08, Afternoon

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Avigail (a guest) Merav A. Nur B. (reportng)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Natanya translating.

13.50 Za'tara (Tapuach).
4 cars from the west and 5 from Ramallah. A young man was detained for an hour and a half. He is the "bingo" (his name on a list). Each day he is stopped at each checkpoint, Huwwara and Beit Iba. The soldiers give him his ID and say that he can go home. But he is angry and throws it down. The commander,   a major, says that this is according to the orders.

A bus is sent to the parking area for checking. The driver complains about the time he is losing. All the passengers prefer to travel in taxis because these are not stopped. The passengers have to stand in an orderly line at the side of the bus and later to move to the side. The military policewoman says to the driver "Don't make a noise next to them" and to the passengers she says vulgarly "Go back. Come forward. If you don't move back it will take hours." The baggage compartment is checked and the bags inside the bus. 11 minutes. The soldier reads the names and one by one people get their IDs. Two checkpoints are now behind them....Huwwara and Za'tara and they are on their way to Ramallah with more CPs' on the way.

14.20 Beit Furik. 
Mainly pedestrians exiting Nablus. IDs are checked. Few cars. The baggage compartment is checked. A short argument with the commander who demands politely  that I move back. I refuse also politely and stay where I am and the argument ends. 

14.50  Huwwara.
Where the new checkpoint is being built is a rectangular shed.
A young man is detained for an hour. "Bingo." He was in jail in Israel and his wife is waiting for him. Over the isolation is a new sign..."Detention post" of which we are enclosing a picture.
At 15.40 the man is released.

Three checking posts for men, long and well-disciplined. Belts taken off and put on on the other side of the checkpoint. They pass through the x-ray device.  Bags and parcels are checked. The x-ray machine for bags and parcels is not working. Half the time it stands on the side without use and then another is taken and returned. The waiting time for men is between half an hour to an hour.
A humanitarian line for women and men over 45.  Men who stop for a moment on the other side of the checkpoint to dress themselves are chased away vulgarly. "What is going on here...Castro (a fasion shop)?" They are also chased from the "pit" today. Everyone is chased away to the market place.

Cars.  At the entrance to Nablus IDs and permits are checked. There are not many cars in this direction and the passage is swift. At the exit from the city there is a continuous stream of cars. The passengers exit the cars a distance from the checkpoint and the driver goes up to the checkpoint on his own. The car is checked both inside and the baggage compartment and then the passengers come up one by one. Bags are checked by hands and the men are given a body search, lifting their shirts and turning around, showing their calves and IDs. This takes 45 minutes for a bus.

A car is detained and we go up. Three elderly men inside. They had travelled on the road to Yitamar and Elon Moreh, an apartheid road for Jews only. They have been detained for an hour and a half.
The fast of Ramadan. They have food in the car for a festive meal. They are from Ramallah and did not know about the forbidden road,..........they know the apartheid roads in their own areas. And there is no sign there.
40 minutes of phoning to the centre. We are told that there is no such car at the checkpoint. We again give the number and describe where the cars is standing. After a long discussion in the car lane leaving Nablus, under the quarry  and another 5 telephone calls we are told that the detention during Ramadan has been shortened from 3 hours to one hour only and they are immediately freed (after a detention of more than two hours). The alleviations for Ramadan.

The soldier at the car lane entering Nablus stops because we are standing at the turnstile. The commander sends him back to work after 5 minutes. He shouts at us, "Yah you disgusting women." And "It is a pity you do not appreciate the soldiers because of whom you can put your heads on the pillow at night."
At 15.50 The soldiers with drawn weapons descend on a driver of a truck who is being checked at the exit from Nablus. It is not clear why. We go nearer. The same soldier charges up to me and stands next to me, very hostile with his breath on my cheek. "Get away from her. Shove off." And then he pushed me with his hand on my shoulder. (Not a push which will make me move and so far without much force.) I demanded his details from the commander of the checkpoint which was only given after I said that I would be forced to make a complaint against him as he is responsible for his soldiers. I got the name of the soldier and his number. The next day I made a complaint.

The usual picture at the checkpoint. Two elderly women, one on a cane are allowed to pass in the car lane. A picture on our website.

17.10 Za'tara. 7 cars coming from Ramallah. From the west empty.