Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 12.10.08, Afternoon
Translation: Tal H.
15:00 Both entrances to Marda village are open.
15:05 Tapuach/Zaatara Junction Checkpoint - nearly empty of waiting vehicles.
Shooting post unmanned.
15:15 Huwwara Checkpoint
DCO rep. - Mohanned, CP commander - ?
3 active checking posts, active x-ray truck, active detector-dog and trainer from 16:30 on.
The minute Judit assumes her usual observation point across the vehicle checking lane, the commander approaches her, requires her to show her ID and assures her he is summoning the police (which did not arrive, at least not for her).
The special side line for women and the elderly is relatively speedy. At the men's waiting lines, even if not too crowded during our first hour there, progress is quite slow.
15:40 A driver, after having his vehicle inspected for 10 minutes, is required to lift his car on its 'jack', dismantle one of the tires and take it to the x-ray truck for inspection.
16:40 A civilian policeman sporting a typical 'settler yarmulka' joins the first pedestrian checking post and actually participates in the inspections, later joining the exiting vehicles' inspections alongside the dog trainer and soldiers.
16:50 A fight break out inside one of the pedestrian waiting lines. The entire checking process is halted. Soldiers stand aside, not interfering. Yelling increases, blows exchanged. The soldiers enter the lines, catch the main rivals - later we hear that one of them wanted to push his way forward and not await his turn - and push them over to the hold. The boy who started it all is handcuffed and body searched. In the meantime soldiers push all the men back further and further until they are outside the shed altogether.
Suddenly we hear very loud yelling from the soldiers: "Get back already!!!" and then
a shot. We hear the commander himself, shouting in alarm while running over to join them: "Who fired live??!!"
17:00 the waiting pedestrians are all allowed to resume their lines and inspections are on again. The commander unloads the soldier's gun right next to and above the special side line. So close that an elderly Palestinian is startled while passing and having to duck as he nearly runs into the unexpected obstacle.
Beit Furik Checkpoint
Observers: Judit B., Noa P. reporting
16:30 Upon our arrival, the checkpoint commander approaches us and tells us to leave because this is 'closed military zone'. We said no problem, we'll comply if he shows us an official written order. He makes a phone call, and after speaking with someone, turns away without further words.
16:45 A tractor with platform attached approaches the checkpoint Nablus-bound, carrying about ten mostly elderly women and three men. The commander approaches the inspecting soldiers and tells them to wait: "I'll do the selection, to see who passes through the pedestrian checking post". He points to two women and a man who get off the platform, do the pedestrian checking process and join the tractor later on. All this while in Huwwara, people entering Nablus are not required to go through any checking at all.
Throughout our shift here, there are very few pedestrians in both directions, and hardly any vehicles.