Deir Sharaf, Sun 16.8.09, Afternoon
Alix W., Susan L. (reporting)
14:40 Deir Sharaf
It's the end of a month of grace, and the beginnings of long lines. Nobody can cross the checkpoint, other than Palestinians since Palestinian Israelis who've enjoyed shopping and eating in Nablus for the past month are excluded. The end of "freedom" to shop and to visit family (many of whom are in Balata refugee camp). Now, it's back to "normal" for the IDF, and the many soldiers, six to eight, at the checkpoint, don't care: "That's the rule today, it wasn't like that yesterday, I don't know what will be tomorrow." Since many Palestinian Israelis continue to make their journey towards Nablus, and don't yet know the new "rules," there are lines as private cars, trucks, and taxis are made to turn in the middle of the checkpoint.
According to Palestinian friends, last night there was a big "party" in the centre of Nablus, celebrating the month long shopping festival. We noted that the makeshift parking lot at the "barrel" works is full of cars with yellow license plates (Israeli cars whose owners have made their way to the center of the city by taxi).