Awarta, Beit Furik, Huwwara, Tue 9.10.07, Afternoon
Translation: Hanna K.
The last week of the Ramaddan
Violence at Huwwara.
Inhabitants of the villages east of Nablus are not allowed to pass over to Beit Furiq, not with standing the Ramaddan and the promises given/
14:03 Zaatara CP: From North to South - a queue of 27 cars.
From West to East there is one car being checked.
14:08 The Yitzhar CPs
In both directions are not manned.
14:20 Beit Furik CP;
A stinking odour (perhaps a carcass) at the CP. 6 cars in the queue leaving Nablus. There are no detainee. In the pedestirans' queue about 10 people coming from Nablus are waiting.
Only one checking post is manned by two military-policemen, who perform the checking slowly, with rest periods, and then, with a sign of the finger indicate to the next person due to be checked, that his turn has come. The queue becomes longer,
At 14:25 about 20 people are waiting. People leaving Nablus are asked if the army allows the passage from the neighboring villages to Beit Furiq and they say that it isn't.
14:35 - it begins to be crowded in the pedestrians' shed.
The checking is of the four last digits, there is no computer. Only one turnstile is active and the women who don't know this are waiting in vain in the queue that they formed separately, until we drew the attention of the CP commander to this.
14:47 a 16 year old boy tries to pass with his brother's ID. The soldiers say that they would let him pass if a family member would come to fetch him. They send the boy and his friend to the detainees' shed.
14:55 We go to the detained boy to get his details, the CP commander hurries to go to him and instructs him to return to Nablus. When they stand next to the CP the commander chases them away : "away with you, away with you!".
One of the soldiers told us with utmost certainty that the inhabitants of the nearby villages are allowed to pass over to Beit Furiq without authorizations, in honor of the Ramaddan. The CP commander on the other hand says that they cannot pass and that the former provision was cancelled.
15:05 A young man in whose ID it is written that he is from Jiftlik, is not allowed to pass in the direction of Beit Furik.
The queue is full till the edge of the shed.
15:19 A soldier at the CP eats in full view of those waiting in the queue. When we comment on that, the CP commander says that no instruction was given not to eat in front of the fasting people waiting in the queue in the month of the Ramaddan. After we photographed the food (not the soldier!) the CP commander chases us away.
15:27 Awarta - one car is waiting.
There are two detainees in the solitary confinement cell. The soldier tells Michal to go away and doesn't let her talk to them. He tells us that the boy (aged 14) is detained because he tried to pass by a roundabout route, and was caught already 4 times, and the second (according to the soldier) is a driver who tried to seize a weapon. The taxi drivers tell us that a soldier came up to the driver unexpectedly, with his gun held horizontally and held with both hands - he came up close to the driver and pushed him - and the driver had no choice but to hold the gun, so as not to fall backwards.
A taxi driver arrives and says that today, around 12:00 while he was sitting in the taxi he saw in his rear window a soldier approaching the taxi and kicking with his foot the plastic cover of the rear light until he broke it - without any reason whatsoever.
The CP is crowded.The soldiers shout at the people in the queue to move back. A soldier shouts at the detained boy's cousin "go, go away!" another soldier screams at an elderly woman: "imshi! imshi!"
16:08 The CP commander (I.) walks among the people and screams at them nervously and threateningly. He shouts at Michal. Shouts at Yehudit. His words are rudeness, obscenities and verbal violence.
16:22 A soldier shouts in the loudspeaker "to go back!" the soldiers scream, in the packed-full queue the people scream aswell. The CP commander also shouts at the soldiers. There are many soldiers at the CP.
A womanwho has been waiting for here husband for a long time bursts into tears, the DCO officer Y. helps to find the husband and take him across. The DCO officer also help to take across a young man with edema in his legs, but when we ask him about the detainees he is not prepared to listen to a different version than that of the soldiers.
We met one of the children coffee-vendors; he told us that yesterday, even before he arrived at the CP, when he still was on the road, an officer stopped next to him and slapped him hard on the cheek.
A soldier leads a lad who looks like a student - he holds books and his expression signifies that he has no idea what is happening, we were forbidden to approach the solitary confinement cell, we were able to see from time to time two or more soldiers going there.
Michal: "I am going to see what is happening with the detainees in the cell. I hear screams of soldiers from the cell and shouts of pain". The soldiers notice her and chase her away.
16:50 The detained driver is released (the one who allegedly tried to "snatch weapons") and his friend (the one who gave us his different version from that of the soldier) takes the trouble to bring him to us and the driver says that when he was in the cell a few soldiers arrived from time to time and beat the boy who was there and cursed him [he gave us a name and a telephone number].
The student was released. When we tried to ask him why he was detained in the cell the soldier called him aside and talked to him - the student went to the parking lot with the soldier tailing him and we went down the steps to the parking lot, intending to hear what the lad was punished for but he evaded us - somebody asked him in Arabic what the matter was and the lad said that the soldier had warned him that if he would so much as look in our direction - the soldier would send him back to Nablus.
17:10 The boy was released - we tried to talk to him: we waited at the parking lot, but even there the boy avoided talking to us, while two soldier stood and watched.
All during our stay at the CP we called the Center a few times and reported to N. what our eyes saw and what our ears heard.
17:15 we left the CP.
The Yitzhar CPs are empty.