Beit Furik, Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 28.1.08, Afternoon
12.40 The hitchiking post at Ariel is empty.
Marda ...the opening has been closed with more barbed wire.
Zeita is blocked.
Za'tara 6 cars from the north.
1.15 Beit Furik.
7 cars in the carpark. Some have been waiting an hour, others an hour and a half and they say that the soldiers are acting unpleasantly at the checkpoint. We complained to the centre.
When we got to the checkpoint a spectacled bearded captain came up to us barking in the army fashion (I think he was a bit confused) ....listen and listen well. I am responsible here and you get the hell out of here to the white line. Clear?? Macky tries to speak to him but he refuses to listen saying if we do not go beyond the white line he will call the police. Closes the checkpoint. We say you can phone but it is forbidden for you to close the checkpoint. While we go to the white line one of the soldiers tries to speak to the captain and calm him. What do you care. Let them stay. They are not disturbing us. But he sticks to the line that he is the captain and the checkpoint is his and he decides what is what. We phoned R. but he was sick so left H. a message.
At 1.30 we again phoned the humanitarian centre.
1.40 The first cars pass. A new innovation. The cars have to stop 10 metres before the checkpoint and the driver gets out with his Id and the passengers have to go through the pedestrians checking area. The check takes about 2 minutes a car. A young man who gets out of a car says to us in excellent English that he is a doctor and he needs to get to his clinic but has already been waiting an hour.
A truck is at last allowed through without any checking of contents or anything else.
14.00 Awarta Back to back for trucks and a long line waiting to enter Nablus.
14.05 Huwwara A soldier asks if we had brought cake and we said no and he asked if we did not like Golani and later asks Macky is she had brought him tea.
The shed is completely full and people complain about the delay...a waiting period of about an hour and a half. T. says that the soldiers are a new group at the checkpoint. One of the turnstiles is broken and soldiers arrive to fix it.
A young man is checked, his shoes taken off and he is taken to isolation.
There are three young men waiting and they are given a body check in the isolation and then taken behind the humanitarian line where they are told to take off their upper garments and freed 10 minutes later.
When we ask why we are told that they were questioned by the secret service. Their cousin asked us a number of times to get them freed and we waited until this was done. When we left there were already 4 more young men in the isolation.
A dog trainer is present and the x-ray machine.
16.00 Za'tara 40 cars , 2 checking areas and no great delays. From the west it is empty.