Israeli Occupation Forces Plow Land near Huwwara Checkpoint

Israeli Occupation Forces Plow Land near Huwwara Checkpoint

Since the beginning of April 2008, Israeli occupation forces have been carrying out plowing activities in the vicinity of Hiwara checkpoint in an effort to expand it. As of the date of this report, about 15 dunums from the Palestinian village of Burin have been plowed for that purpose. It appears that the plowing is aimed at establishing a parking lot for taxis carrying Palestinians towards the City of Nablus.



Previous plowing attempts were carried out back in March 2007 when Israeli occupation forces plowed 12 dunums from the same village for the purpose of establishing a zone used for unloading, searching and re-loading trucks entering and exiting the City of Nablus. In addition, these forces enlarged the roads leading to the checkpoint and made it between 8 and 12 meters wide while constructing a roundabout at the junction leading to Hiwara military camp, located southeast of the checkpoint. Both plowing events prove the intention of the Israeli occupation to re-enforce its presence in the region for a long time and that the talk about checkpoints removal is nothing but a fog screen used to mislead the international opinion.     



Photo 1+2.: The continuing plowing in the vicinity of Hiwara checkpoint.


Hiwara Checkpoint: Source of Continued Palestinian Suffering and Agony

Israeli occupation forces continue to detain and delay Palestinians for long hours on Hiwara checkpoint in addition to imposing strict and complicated procedures on their movement. These procedures include forcing the Palestinians to go through special runways that look like chicken lanes. Each Palestinian going through these lanes is compelled to lift his shirt as a prelude for being thoroughly searched. Only two such lanes are reserved for Palestinians exiting Nablus towards the southern governorates (like Ramallah, Jerusalem and Bethlehem) which compound the traffic jam at the checkpoint. It is widely believed that easing or restricting the movement of the Palestinians at the checkpoint depends largely on the mood of the Israeli soldiers manning it which usually causes an increased agony of the Palestinians wanting to cross it.


Photo 3: An Israeli soldier controlling the access of Palestinians at Hiwara checkpoint.



Photo 4.: Traffic jam at Hiwara checkpoint.


The Child Fahmi Al Dardook: A Victim of Israeli Checkpoints and Siege

A large number of human rights’ violations have been recorded at Hiwara checkpoint which included opening Israeli gun fire at Palestinians. The latest such case was the shooting death of the 15-year old boy Fahmi Abdel Jawad Al Dardook, a resident of Ras Al Ein neighborhood in Nablus City. Fahmi was traveling at 6:30 PM on May 17th, 2008 from his house in Nablus towards the city of Ramallah to visit and sleep over at his relatives. As per his age, Fahmi was not issued an ID and he did not know the searching procedure followed at the checkpoint. He also had headphones attached to his mobile phone as normal teenagers do these days. When he arrived at the “chicken lane” at Hiwara checkpoint the metal detector installed at the lane beeped causing the soldiers manning the checkpoint to fire multiple rounds at the child causing him numerous injuries. The shooting was carried out by soldiers standing only 3 meters away from the child. The shooting could have been easily avoided and the death of Fahmi averted given the fact that the room in which he was in is tightly and firmly secured with no possibility of injuring any soldier, even if the child had explosives on him (which he didn’t).


In reaction to the killing, occupation soldiers closed down the checkpoints of Hiwara, Aworta, Beit Foreek and Surra. The only checkpoint that remained open was Beit Eba checkpoint which remained functioning as usual. The soldiers, also, carried out a search campaign in a number of houses in the village of Beit Foreek which led Palestinian residents of the village to think that the martyr originated from that village.


Israeli Soldiers Prevented the Palestinian Ambulance from Reaching Fahmi:

The soldiers manning the checkpoint prevented the Palestinian Red Crescent’s ambulance from carrying out its duty of saving the injured boy who was left to bleed to death; Fahmi was shot at 7:00 PM and he was reached by the ambulance crew at 11:00 PM !!!. While trying to reach Fahmi after the shooting incident an Israeli solders threw a sound bomb at the Palestinian ambulance while other soldiers threw sound bombs and teargas at Palestinians at the checkpoint attempting to approach Fahmi in an effort to save him. Israeli bomb experts arrived at the scene of the crime at 8:30 PM and used a robot to drag the injured Fahmi over a distance of 12 meters to the middle of the checkpoint. They (The Israeli-controlled robot) shredded Fahmi’s clothes in a way that contradicted all of international and human norms.


At around 11:00 PM the so-called Israeli “Civil Administration” called the Palestinian Red Crescent and informed it that Fahmi has died and that the Crescent is allowed to come to the scene and remove his body. However, upon its arrival the ambulance was detained by the Israeli Border Police for 10 minutes under the pretext that the Police needed to check that coordination has already taken place for picking up the body. The Palestinian paramedics found Fahmi’s body covered with blood and riddled with bullet holes. They were given a mere 5 minutes to remove the body and Fahmi’s torn clothes in a scene that reflects the barbarism and vindictiveness of the Israeli occupation and its soldiers.


It is worth noting here that cruelty and maltreatment of Palestinians at the Hiwara checkpoint has continued since its establishment in 2001. The unprovoked delay of the sick, medics and Palestinian ambulances at the checkpoint led to the death of a large number of Palestinians due to the unethical and inhumane treatment of the Israeli soldiers manning the checkpoint.




Prepared by:
The Land Research Center

Categories: Israeli Violations