Huwwara, Wed 11.3.09, Afternoon

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Raheli B.A., Sharon L., Devora Z., Ricky S. (reporting)

Translation: Hanna K.

  - The parking lot is packed full with taxis. We went to the area that was "allotted" to us, outside the sterileinfo-icon area, at the passage for people leaving Nablus. Suddenly we discovered that the CP had been perfected. Flower boxes had been set up along the fences - a superfluous and pathetic gesture, which tries, without success to soften the concrete and iron dress of the CP and the faces of the weary people, stamped with the stamp of the conquest.
The DCO explains that 6000 IS had been invested in these boxes, and they will endure for exactly one week, provided there will be rain. It's unnecessary to mention that no irrigation was provided. And why should anybody worry about the flowers, when nobody ever worried about drinking facilities and toilets for the people at the CP. Part of the flower boxes (those which are on the side of the road leading to Nablus) were taken by the soldiers to the DCO offices so that they shouldn't wither. One takes pity on them the DCO apologises. Apart from that he recommended to the superiors that water faucets be installed, after all the soldiers too need water, but his request was not heeded, what can he do.

There is a stench coming from the CP. The soldiers' toilets are being cleaned and all the people at the CP and its surrounding are enveloped in the vapor of the non-metaphorical stink.

The CP commander joins us and announces another improvement. The army must guard our security.
Last week there was a "kidnapping event" at Beer-Sheva, therefore he is responsible for our security.
We unanimously waived the offer of being guarded, but he insists. He sent a soldier to stand near us. The soldier does not talk, he does not smile and doesn't react to us. We ignored him.

At 15:35 the functioning of the CP suddenly came to as standstill, without warning. The soldiers, the ones checking and the ones guarding, all gathered into the buildings and the Palestinians coming from Nablus remained confined behind the turnstiles. We went to find out what the matter was, and it turned out, to our surprise, that we were responsible. Because the CP commander is obliged to dispatch a soldier to guard us, the checking soldiers refuse (according to the CP commander) to do their work without any protection. We immediately understood that the safety and security of the entire CP was loaded on the thin shoulders of a young soldiers, because the CP commander isn't ready - we cite: that a single hair from our hairs should drop, and with this aim he is prepared to block the passage for the Palestinians, and to stop the functioning of the CP. No, no, it's not he who has decided, it's the soldiers who do the checking who are not prepared to stand there without protection. In spite of our protests the officer wasn't prepared to re-open the checking process. The queue behind the turnstiles became longer and longer, but he insisted. We argued with him that he doesn't allow us to do our work
 But to no avail. As we became, through no intervention on our side, responsible for the functioning of the CP we went away, and the CP returned to is former activity (at 15:55).     

To all concerned - please consider this as a sabotage against the work of MachsomWatch and a precedent towards the limitation of its activities, which began already when the sterile area was enlarged and we were removed from the meeting points between the soldiers and the Palestinians passing through the barrier.
Our appeals to the Center and to the Officer in charge of the passages were not answered.

While we were removed, volunteers from the international organizations walked about in the area. They are allowed to pass at the CP and to return and pass again. They are allowed to talk with the Palestinians waiting at the CP and even with the detaineesinfo-icon when they pass near them  while we are prevented. We, the citizens of the strongest democracy in the Middle East, are "protected" behind the grilles of the fences, interned under watching eye of soldiers, security decrees and other aggressive instructions, for our security and the glory of the State of Israel. We even cannot testify about the wrongs of the CP. They are soldiers who wish with all their might to "take care of the Palestinians" and to let them come home safely, and we become responsible for the infringement against the proper work. Because of us the Palestinians will wait another hour or two, or as much as it takes. When I was asked by one of the drivers what had happened, I said that we are not allowed to perform our work, and that we are asked to leave the area, and he answered: So go away! But then he changed his tune and said: No, I meant that you should stand at a distance, so that you won't be seen.
From his bitter experience as a Palestinian he knows that its better to be transparent and then the troubles don't see you.

In the meantime a routine drama takes place at the car CP. A small grey car is surrounded by about twenty soldiers and out of it are removed two men with covered eyes and hands bound behind their backs. When we approached they were hid behind a military jeep and then led to the "detention" area. When we asked one of the soldiers answered: "We seem to have caught two wanted persons".

Volunteers from abroad, whom we have met last time, and who stay at Yanun, told us that about 300 desturction edicts were issued for building at Hirbet Ta'ana. These are building situated on the land of Beit Furik. Buildings were already destroyed on the same spot three years ago, and these are buildings that were built since that demolition.

We returned to our position at the CP at 16:00. This time everything went smoothly. Waiting time about 20 minutes. This time the soldiers ignored our presence. They have already proved who the master is here.