Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Sha`ar Shomron (Qasem), Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 16.9.08, Morning
Translation: Hanna K.
Until we arrived at Huwwara we thought that the day was a relatively calm one, a day in Ramadan month with little traffic on the roads, from the villages, but the picture changed when we arrived at the Huwara CP.
At the entrance through the Samaria Gate the traffic was without obstruction. At the exit to the West Bank areas the traffic is sparse.
The entrance to the village of Zeita is blocked, the entrance to Marda is open, the entrance to Beita is open, the police conducts the entrance and the exit to and and from Ariel, a short delay.
The Za'tara (Tapuah) Junction is empty from all directions, the flow of cars coming from Nablus is hardly delayed at all.
We went straight to Beit Furik
08:10 There are no vehicles at Beit Furik
From time to time a vehicle arrives, advances to the soldiers and passes.
Pedestrians - their traffic is lively, especially that of pleasantly behaved students who greet us and answer our good morning greetings, their checking is speedy.
A full bus arrives, the young men descend and pass through the turnstiles and the bus with girls students enters Nablus without any checking.
We thought that this was the situation because of the easements during the Ramadan month. But....
WE arrived at the Huwwara CP through the Awarta CP in which there were no people nor vehicles, except for soldiers.
08:40 Huwwara CP -
Half of the parking lot is empty but this is no indication of what goes on at the CP.
When we arrives there are 25 detainees under the shed, and from time to time some trickle to the checking posts. They report on a waiting period from 07:00 in the morning, and all the time more Palestinians join them, all of them young people.
From time to time one of them is taken by the CP commander, has to undergo a corporal check and is led, accompanied by the commander, to behind the humanitarian point. We too went there and saw an armored jeep to which the detainees were brought.
During the time we were there, 5 young men were taken for a talk there, according to the commander who was very efficient but refused to answer us and forbade the soldiers to talk to us. After a lot of nagging he said they were taken to be interrogated. The detainees tell us that they were interrogated by the representatives of the General Security Service (shabak).
There are 3 checking point at the exit from Nablus and during all our stay there the number of people waiting there ranged from 30 to 50, and the Palestinians reported on a waiting time of about half an hour.
At the entrance to Nablus via the turnstiles there are not many Palestinians passing.
Vehicles - both at the entrance and the exit too the number of cars isn't big.
09:00 There are still about 25 detainees. When we ask till when they will be detained and why they are detained, the elusive answer is that they are under investigation.
There still is a lot of stress at the exit, the routine checking accompanied by removing the belt, lifting the trousers up, bags are sent to the screening machine. The people are angry, one of them says to us "soon we will have to remove our under-pants too".
The soldiers murmur: ''and they (MW women) are helping them".
A phone call to the DCO to report that there is a representative of theirs at the CP but he is not to be seen, we ask that he be told to meet us.
T. arrives, he knows what goes on, according to him this is the usual situation, we disagree of course. He points out that the decisions are taken by the commanders and promises that the detainees will be released soon.
09:30 - There are 7 detainees left and the general picture of the CP doesn't change.
09:50 - There are 3 detainees left.
10:00 - There is "bingo" (one whos' ID number on the list which the soldeirs receive from the GSS), one of the young man leaving Nablus is detained and is put into the dungeon.
There is one detainee left, we suspected that his ID card disappeared.
The ID card is indeed not to be found, we again alerted the DCO representative who said that they were looking at the General Security Service, which had already left, and elsewhere too.
We asked that the young man be released with a confirmation that the ID card got lost there, and when it will be found it would be returned to him,
The DCO representative promises that he would be detained till 12:00 and if the ID won't be found till then he'll be released with the confirmation.
It should be pointed out that this detainee has been waiting since 07:30 a.m.
In general most of the soldiers behave in a very matter of fact manner towards the Palestinians.
As regards us they insist that we do not pass the blue line.
11:00 - we left the CP and were promised by the DCO representative that they would follow up the matter of the detainee in the solitary confinement whose details were up for checking, and also of the one without an ID card.
To sum up: The detainee was released at 14:00 without his ID card, one tries to assist him to get a new card soon.
On the way back there is no change, all the crossroads are empty.