Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 29.10.08, Morning

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Naomi L., Chana A. (reporting)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Translator:  Charles K.

6:52  Shomron Gate (Qasem).  The road east is open.

7:09  Zeita.  Blocked

7:15  Za'tara: 
No lines from the west and the north.  Two lanes open and drivers, out of habit, stop when they reach the inspection point and the soldiers wave them through.  Except for a bus, that is directed to the parking area. 
It takes 3 minutes to check the ID cards of the passengers.  The driver says they left Jenin at 6:20 AM on their way to Ramallah.  They'll find additional checkpoints on the way.

7:32  We left.

7:42  Huwwara: 
The turnstile on the path into Nablus serves to delay and control the way Palestinians on their way to the district's urban center are able to use their time.  It creates a relatively long line of almost 20 people at any given time at this hour of the morning.

The x-ray machine is working, and the dog handler is demonstrating her dog's abilities on the cars of Palestinians leaving the city.  We don't see the DCO representative.

Meanwhile, two lanes are open for people leaving Nablus, and the line is long, at least 30 people, something we haven't seen for quite a while on a Wednesday morning.

A Palestinian man who came through after being checked says that the soldiers change the order in which people are inspected.  A person reaches the head of one line, and the soldiers tell him to go to the other line.  He says it happens every day.  "It's brutal," he tells us.

We timed how long people wait - 6 minutes from the moment we can see them.

8:15  A vehicle that wants to leave the city is prevented from doing so.

Just before 8:30 an additional lane is opened for pedestrians leaving the city, and at 8:51 there were no more people waiting on line. 

8:43  A taxi driver moves forward a little beyond where the soldiers checking cars leaving the city are standing, and is loudly reprimanded by a female soldier.

8:49  Heavy equipment, made by Caterpillar and Volvo, arrives to destroy the area, digging it up and changing the contours of the land and the appearance of the landscape.

9:00  We left.

9:07  Beit Furik: 
No cars leaving or entering.  People arrive from time to time on foot.

"Today the soldiers are ok," the people sitting in the coffee/tea shed tell us.

10:15  We left after seeing an additional example of the success of the Israeli educational system, that erased the "Green Line" as an international border from textbooks, and thus from the consciousness of A., the commander. 

10:43  Za'tara:  No lines.

  Shomron Gate (Qasem):  A line of cars coming from Israel to the territories captured in '67.