14.00 Sha’ar Eliyahu: almost no traffic at all, very few vehicles, 2-3 pedestrians
14.25 Shvut Ami looks deserted
14.45 Jit Junction: there is no checkpoint
14.50 Deir Sharaf (Barrels checkpoint): cars flow through. There are quite a few soldiers at the checkpoint, but they don’t stop any of the cars going into or coming out of Nablus. We see cars with yellow license plates going through the checkpoint in both directions and learn from one of the drivers, a resident of Tira, that for a while now Israeli Arab have been allowed to go in and out of Nablus on weekdays as well.
Three soldiers walk up to us to inquire who we are. We identify ourselves as Machsom Watch members and they ask if we’re allowed to be there. We say yes, as long as we don’t go into area A. They order us not to go in and go back to the checkpoint.
15.00 Meanwhile the soldiers have stopped a car coming out of Nablus and there is a queue at the exit. At the same time they block the entry lane and immediately there’s a queue of 7 cars. Three minutes later they let the first car go but the entrance is still blocked. There are now 9 cars in the queue. The soldiers start checking the papers of the people in the cars, slowly, letting the cars go one by one. There is quite a long queue. Following Nadim’s suggestion we drive away, hoping that if we leave, the traffic jam will clear. And indeed the minute our car moves away the soldiers stop checking papers and start letting the cars through, and suddenly the traffic is flowing in both directions. It seems clear to us that the soldiers created the delay only because of our presence at the checkpoint.
15.15 Anabta: no cars are stopped.
15.35 Irtah is empty, there are no workers.