Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Tue 14.10.08, Afternoon

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Fathia A. Daphna B. (reporting); Natanya translating
Seriously? Does this make us safer?


14.00 Shaar Shomron. No checking at the entrance to the Occupied Territories.

. 2 entrances open.

. Closed with a mound of earth and the gate is locked.  Even people wanting to pass through on foot have great difficulty getting through.

Tapuah/Za'tara Checkpoint
.  No lines in any direction and cars coming through wave their IDs and pass.

14.40 Huwwara. A young boy in the isolation booth. Fathia goes to see and the boy is freed. No line of cars either at the entrance or exit. Ambulances pass swiftly after opening the back door. A truck goes through here because Awarta is closed (because of the holiday). About 50 – 100 people in the men's line and the soldiers keep shouting to them to go back. A young man with a white hat has his hat taken from him. The soldiers play with it, put it on their heads and after that on their helmets and in the end….give it back to him. As always all the men coming out with all their belongings and clothing in their hands and stop outside the turnstile to get dressed.

15.10 A commotion in the men's line, shouts of those waiting and the soldier trying to make some kind of order. I came closer to see and immediately a second lieutenant runs forward to send me back. I told him that I would stay (at the booth next to the checking) until everything would calm down  as only from there I could see what was happening. He said: The law says that you have to stand behind the blue line. I refused and he demanded my ID and I demanded that he first identify himself which he refused. So he did not get my ID and said he would call in the police.
A DCO reserve officer, Muhannad, who is pleasant, tries to speak to us. In a week's time he is to be discharged.

15.30 A young man arrives with his two little brothers of 6 and 7 but the DCO officer sends them back. We cannot hear what is being said. When we ask him why if they are going through with their brother do they need the IDs of the parents and he says, "Do you know how many children are stolen?" I asked if it were his duty to guard children from being stolen and he said he would see what he could do to help.

16.00 The children go through to where their sister is waiting on the other side but this is not done with ease and the man is harassed and sent to the x-ray machine with his bag. When he comes back the above mentioned second lieutenant demands that he opens and empties his bag of all its contents and one metre later another soldier demands the same. In the end he meets his sister and little brothers upset and pale.

15.45 An upset young man comes up to us and says that the DCO Muhannad kicked his brother because he had refused to pick up rubbish from behind the turnstiles. FROM WHERE WE WERE STANDING WE HAD NO POSSIBILITY OF SEEING WHAT WAS HAPPENING THERE WHERE SOLDIERS ALWAYS HAD STOOD IN FRONT OF THE LINE OF MEN SO WE CANNOT SAY WHAT HAPPENED THERE.
We see that the incident closed and calm has settled but in addition Muhannad sends him to the x-ray machine with two books that he has in his hand. Another small harassment before he exits. The alarmed young man said that Muhannad had kicked him but he did not want to make a complaint. Does he need more trouble?

16.20 Beit Furik.  A drizzle of people. The passage is swift and there are hardly any cars. People say that today the checkpoint is OK. The owner of the kiosk (a few nylons and a little burner for making tea and coffee + a few stones to sit on) tells us how his kiosk was burnt in the night between Saturday and Sunday. Soldiers told women of MachsomWatch that they saw the place burning at 1.30 in the morning  but did nothing. The man earns his living from selling coffee to the passers by and hardly manages to make enough for his family. Now he has been left with nothing and asks for help.

16.40 We stand next to the white line because there is nothing much to see and we do not want to have a confrontation. The commander comes up to us and tells us to move away as we are bothering him. We say that we are not speaking to the soldiers or going near them. He says that the area is a closed army area and we ask to see the order. He says that he will send for it (see the report of 13.10 in the morning). We ignored him and remained where we were and at 17.00 as we had planned we left. It is not clear whether he sent for the order or not.