'Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Thu 5.2.09, Afternoon

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Michal S., Tamar P., Yehudit L. (reporting and photographing)

Translator:  Charles K.

14:31  Zeita - Entry closed as usual, on the way back as well.

14:37  Za'tara - No wait from the west; from the north, 18 vehicles waiting to be inspected in two lanes.

15:00  Huwwara checkpoint -
M. A. a Nablus resident, employed as a fireman, wanted to go to Huwwara.  He waited patiently on line, as one does at the checkpoint, and reached the eastern inspection booth.  He slid his ID card into the slot but didn't get it back: the person in front of him took it by accident.

The female soldier in the booth waved him away quickly, indifferently, what does she care whether he goes through or not.  Two friends helped him translate into Hebrew and into English (one is a relative of Ibrahim Toukan, the poet), trying to explain to the soldier what happened.  They called the Za'tara checkpoint to see whether someone came with an ID card that isn't his.  The answer was negative.

The soldier told M.A. to go home, and promised that if the ID card is found it will be sent to the Palestinian Coordination Authority.

On Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday - until Monday - he couldn't leave Nablus because he had no ID card, so he couldn't go through any checkpoint.  On Monday - if the ID hadn't been found - he'd have to apply for a new ID card.

There was no DCO representative at the checkpoint.  After complaining to S. at the humanitarian office, who forwarded our complaint to the DCO headquarters, they got around to sending a representative.  But -

Although we tried to convince N. the DCO representative, to give M.A. a document confirming his ID had been lost at the checkpoint so he could be mobile during these days, and so he won't have to pay the fine for a lost ID - M.A. didn't get the document, because he didn't have the authorization everyone from Nablus has to show at the checkpoint.  We didn't know that such authorization was necessary; after inquiring, it turned out that there such authorization is unnecessary.

Who cares?

Nevertheless, after contacting the humanitarian center again late that evening, S. promised to keep trying to get a document for him in the morning confirming he'd lost his ID at the checkpoint (Blessed be the believer!).

Al Najah University cancelled classes today because of the death of Salah al Masri, an important person at the school, so we didn't see the students going home Thursday as usual.  By the way, we learned that the Moslem period of mourning is three days for a male and one for a female. 

Much traffic entering Nablus.  The width of the turnstile is 55 cm.

We counted 15 vehicles waiting to be inspected leaving Nablus; from time to time a vehicle entering was inspected and a long line formed that quickly disappeared afterwards.

17:00  Beit Furik checkpoint -
3 detaineesinfo-icon: because of an alert about a "a group in a white vehicle" they're checking IDs.  A photo will be sent.

17:20  Awarta checkpoint -
A VIP vehicle gets special treatment leaving.  We see many banknotes passed from one side to the other - a Brinks truck, men in company uniforms and men in suits.  The checkpoint was closed while the money was being transferred and a fairly long line of vehicles formed going to Nablus from Awarta.

18:30  Za'tara checkpoint -
We saw no vehicles waiting; many vehicles coming from the south, toward the north (to Nablus).