Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 3.9.08, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Are we getting used to things we once despaired of?
6:12 - Shomron Gate.
The entry to people going east is manned. A policeman tells us to stop. He looks into the car and sends us on our way.
6:35 - Za'tara.
No cars at the checkpoint coming from the west. Eight cars in line from the north, and one lane is open.
6:42 - We left
6:45 - A border police jeep is parked opposite the entrance to Beita.
6:54 - A border patrol jeep is parked at the northern end of Huwwara's main street. The policemen stop Palestinian cars carrying passengers and check their ID's. Four cars were detained while we stood there. We timed how long the inspection took - 5 to 10 minutes. We left after all four vehicles had been released. At the end of our shift the jeep was no longer there.
7:10 - Huwwara CP
Few pedestrians at the checkpoint itself. Two lanes open, and the x-ray machine is operating.
Very soon more pedestrians show up, and at any given time there are 20 people on line.
7:37 - An additional lane is opened. "Ta'al hon, ta'al hon," one of the soldiers cries to the Palestinians, and right after that "Irjah la'warra." It turns out that something in that lane isn't working. The soldiers start reading numbers aloud from the ID's of those passing through.
The magnemometers beep. The usual inspection procedure: emptying pockets, removing belts...
7:38 - The DCO representative appears.
The soldier from the vehicle lane is sent somewhere. Cars wait.
7:41 - An ambulance arrives, followed by another taxi. The car waits a short time.
At 7:42 the soldier returns to his station. The commander and another soldier stride over to the parking lot. We follow them. The commander has the ID's of two people, and tells them to stand near the entry point to Nablus. The driver says they're on their way to Ramallah, then, in a tone of complaint, that even though he lives in Nablus he doesn't have permission to bring the car in. He's also an ambulance driver working for the Red Cross. From his answers to our questions, it turns out that he drove on the apartheid road.
8:15 - We left; there's nothing we can do to help.
A man in the parking lot points to the line of cypress trees visible beyond the open area, and asks us to drive over to that road to Awarta. He says that every day a jeep with police stands there, they stop cars, make people get out, stand them up with their hands against the wall and go through their pockets. We promised to drive over there.
8:26 - Beit Furik
Five cars on line; we time the wait. The one we timed took 7 minutes to reach the checkpoint. Few pedestrians, and two lanes open.
8:47 - We left.
As we promised that man this morning, we drove to Huwwara via Awarta, but there was no jeep anywhere along the way at this hour.
9:30 - The jeep that sat opposite Beita this morning moved to the other side of the road, and is now standing next to an abandoned house covered with camouflage netting.
9:37 - 10 cars coming from the north at Za'tara.