'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 14.12.08, Morning
Translation: Suzanne O.
As usual: a roadblock of boulders.
There are 6 cars from the west.
We go over to the northern roadblock. The roadblock commander comes towards us at a run and gives us a sheet of paper signed by Yitzik Bar, Brigade Commander, Shomron, ordering us not to cross the security line, the 'white line' at the roadblock. This is because of concern for our safety and to prevent any disruption to the soldiers' work. The sheet also states that anyone violating this order is committing an offence and may be charged and brought to court. Well done IDF for devoting so much of its valuable time on behalf of our safety, it has created a rectangle measuring 4 - 5 metres drawn magnificently and permits us to stand within it.
However, the vehicles crossing the roadblock are not inspected.
The landscape has changed completely. The yellow barrier is open in what was the car park, the area is completely deserted, there are no cars and the 'café' has also disappeared. The turnstiles are also empty, there are no pedestrians. Those crossing to and from Nablus are driven in taxis which are not inspected.
There is one lorry at the new roadblock, which has been moved south, its driver has alighted for inspection but immediately gets back aboard the vehicle and continues on his way. According to the soldiers there will be no more 'back to back' at the roadblock.
There is one detainee at the roadblock; it is not possible to get near enough to talk to him.
The crossing to Nablus designated, according to the sign, for disabled is open, and those entering Nablus cross via it speedily. T., the DCO representative, draws our attention to a woman laughing because everyone is crossing via the disabled gate.
There are about 60 people at the turnstiles at the exit from Nablus. The soldiers inspecting sit above the queue, closed in, which gives the impression of alienation, inhuman.
The new turnstiles at the exit from the roadblock screech and are difficult to turn, and we find ourselves explaining to those crossing and who are finding it difficult to move them and trying to find a way of avoiding them to get out of the roadblock, that they have to use force.
T., the DCO representative, is proud of the new roadblock and is aware of the repairs and improvements that need to be made.
A., the commander, who comes over wants to talk to us, he is not satisfied with the new arrangement of less thorough inspections and is concerned about a terrorist attack. When we say we back thorough inspections, but only when entering Israel, he does not understand what we are talking about, what do we mean, that territory in which there are Jewish settlements does not belong to Israel?
We move to the car crossing area. It is strange walking there through what was previously the 'humanitarian lane', and to cross freely all the forbidden lines.
Vehicles entering Nablus are not checked. Leaving Nablus they are checked and, occasionally, the boot is raised; one of the drivers has to bring some unidentified equipment from his car to the x-ray machine. The inspections are fast.
We returned to the turnstiles. The detainee is no longer there.
The gate for the disabled going into Nablus is closed and about 40 people are crowded round the turnstile, now forced to cross through it. Why? For security reasons. It turns out that the gate is open up to 9:00 a.m. then it is closed. According to T., if more than 50 people crowd around it, it will be opened again.
A soldier sends another Palestinian to the cell, and he protests angrily, claiming that he is arrested every day for 3 - 4 hours, and he has done nothing. We could not get to him but his brother gave us his details. We asked T., from the DCO to go over to him, but T., claimed that he is being inspected, he will have to wait half an hour to an hour, no more. He behaved as if this is completely acceptable. As if to say: what's the problem, so he'll spend some time in the cell.
We left the roadblock. At 1:00 p.m. I contacted the detainee. According to him he was released an hour ago.