'Awarta, Beit Furik, Burin (Yitzhar), Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 18.12.08, Afternoon

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Chana A., Michal P-S., Noa P-S. (her daughter), Yehudit (reporting and photographing)

Translator:  Charles K.

We were told that a tour group from Yesh Din saw a new outpost that had been erected south of the Barkan industrial zone.  There, next to the bridge, to the east, we see an improvised mobile snack bar selling drinks on the access road to the industrial zone.

14:17  Next to the new traffic circle at the entrance to Ariel we see, to the northwest, the new checkpoint to Kif Al Hars.  A local resident says that people on foot as well as vehicles can exit there.  Soldiers stand near the tall observation tower.

14:21  Both gatesinfo-icon to Marda are open; the entrance to Zeita is blocked as usual.

14:30  Za'tara -
Cars coming from the west don't have to wait; there's one inspection lane.  From the north:  Two lanes - soldiers standing, talking, not inspecting.  Vehicles stop some distance from the booths, used to waiting for inspection (that doesn't happen), so a line sometimes forms, a female soldier sometimes bothers to waggle her fingers so the cars go through.

We photographed the mobile snack bars that are parked permanently at the traffic circle, that also serve the settlers standing there waiting for rides.

14:45  A police car a little way past Beita (looking for stolen cars?).

14:47  Burin junction, on Route 60, an army Hummer parked across the width of the road.

14:48  Before the village, opposite the place where people hitchhike, an observation tower has been erected.

14:49  Huwwara checkpoint ככה יעשה לדוכן שצה"ל אינו חפץ בו

A personal note:  It takes me a while to adjust to changes.  I promise to overcome that.  But not today.

I stand paralyzed opposite the pen.  The new one.  A glorious creation of the Jewish state.  The design must have been taken from similar structures on other continents, not so many years ago.

Wherever I try to stand and look, the checkpoint commander appears, demanding

S T E R I L I T Y.   I'm sure he'll get a medal from his superiors.

15:45  Awarta - מחסום עורתא החדש
The Palestinians have received a bonus, and Area A has been enlarged - it now reaches the Madison Route!!...We're not allowed to stand where we usually did.  We see a very long line of vehicles of different kinds waiting to go in the direction of Awarta.  We also saw some private cars driving on the Madison Route toward Huwwara.  The soldiers said they're sneaking in, and will be caught.  They didn't answer questions. We'll attach a photo.

We notice, looking from Awarta toward the direction of the Huwwara checkpoint, buildings covering the hilltop south of the Bracha settlement, fairly close to Burin.

Is this a new settlement (or outpost), or an expansion of Bracha?

Photo attached.

15:50  Beit Furik -
Just when we arrive passengers from a minibus are being checked in the pedestrian shed, so we still haven't had the honor (...) of seeing no checkpoint here.

We wonder what will happen at night, after midnight, when a woman who has to give birth or an ill person who has to reach the hospital quickly must go through the checkpoint.  How long will it take the soldier to notice someone waiting below?  How long will it take him to come down from the observation tower?  How long until he arrives to open the locked gate?

17:16  Za'tara -
Two inspection lanes for vehicles coming from the north - two vehicles.  No waiting from the west.  One inspection lane.