Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 17.11.08, Afternoon

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Yael S', Zehava G' (reporting)

Translation: Hanna K.


Za'tara/Tapuah Junction
14:05 -
We counted about 20 vehicles waiting in two queues from north to south. From the south only the Palestinian cars are being checked. From all the other directions the traffic is free.

14:25 - A rolling CP of the Border Police near Burin/Yitzhar

Beit Furik
14:35 - At the parking lot two Palestinians tell us about a girl who was seen taken near the CP by a military vehicle blindfolded (they didn't say whether she was also handcuffed). When we approached the CP the commander rushed to us to tell us not to get near, and that we are only allowed to stand at the edge of the CP near the beginning of the thoroughfare wall.
When we asked about the girl he answered hastily that she threw stones, and wasn't prepared to add anything. We asked if there were detaineesinfo-icon and he said there were but didn't want to disclosed how many and why they were detained. We saw from afar one detainee.
The pedestrian queue from the direction of Beit Furik was quite crowded. At the humanitarian queue they passed quicker. At the other queues we noted a waiting time of half an hour for those leaving Beit Furik. In the opposite direction the traffic is sparser.
For some reason they left only one lane for vehicles in both directions. Those who come from the south, and they are few, have to wait sometimes almost an hour until they are allowed to pass. Most of the traffic arrives from the north and is checked  by sampling.
A group of three officers headed by lieutenant colonel D. who is responsible for the activities of the military police at the passages (that's how he explained his task) arrives. He was polite and courteous but in reply to our complaints regarding the behaviour of the CP commander he replied that we could only as how long a detainee would be held, and not why he was detained. Regarding the girl who was taken he refused to explain. When we asked him to give us a phone number to enable us to call him if need arose, he evaded the issue and answered that he already had a good connection with Hanna B.

15:20 -
already in the vicinity of the  noisy parking lot we noticed a police vehicle parked west of the CP and how two boys were handcuffed, blindfolded and forced to their knees. We went up to them but didn't succeed talking to them as they refused to talk. We saw that they were very young. The soldiers who stood next to them were prepared to say that they were caught passing at the CP and that they were transferring something "bad". The police officer who found us tried to chase us away with shouts and screams, and then a Palestinian woman appeared and shouted at one of the boys, so we understood that she was his mother. She too was chased away together with us, but she spoke English well enough so we could understand from her that her son and his friend, who are 16 years old, carried photographs of themselves carrying arms. According to her they did it at a party, for amusement, with a gun they got from a Palestinian policeman. We watched as their legs were being attached to each other with shackles, they were put into the police car and carried away.
At the CP we saw the same three officer from the military police and hurried up to them. What lieutenant colonel D. told us was that in addition to the photographs the boy also carried a long knife (as the officer was told). We told the boy's mother this information but her husband told us that he had driven after the police car and that in his opinion the boys were put into the "Offer" camp. We tried to get more information from the humanitarian center, but they returned to us with  the same information we got before. They were unable to explain why the boys were taken by the police and not the army.
Only after the boy's parents disappeared we discovered to our dismay that we didn't manage to get names and phone numbers to find out what happened to the boys.
At the CP itself there were no detainees. The humanitarian queue was active and the people who were waiting at the regular exit from Nablus queue had to wait for about half an hour. The passage from Huwwara in the direction of Nablus is free.