Beit Iba, Tue 23.10.07, Morning
The traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular, is relatively sparse today. When we arrived everybody was checked, including women, but soon only men were checked, and no lines formed. A man was sent into the enclosure. One of the soldiers demanded that we refrain from talking to him, we lingered there anyway, and another soldier approached us and explained that he is a cab driver who crossed the line (literally and metaphorically). Of course. The drivers, who often cross this virtual line trying to catch a passenger, have long been the enemy of the people here. They are detained in the enclosure, and released after a short while.
The vehicle line moves fast.
Today we meet again the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme volunteers, the Swiss man, the young black woman from South Africa, and a young woman from Sweden. The Swedish woman put her finger quite fast on one of the main problems of the checkpoint system: its arbitrariness. She knows very well what is its rationale:
creating a subdued, weak population.