Beit Iba, Jit, Qalqiliya, Tue 16.10.07, Afternoon
12:45, Qalqiliya: 3 cars waiting in line to leave the city; one waiting at the entrance.
13:30, Jit: a special roadblock because of terror alerts, the soldiers tell us. But they don't check any of the cars that are passing through...
14:10, Beit Iba: When we arrive we find two detainee; one is there since 10 AM, the other - handcuffed and blindfolded - since 7 AM. The roadblock commander refuses to talk with us. He's busy micro-managing pedestrian passage through the carousels: "two from the right" he shouts to the soldier in the booth who then clicks the operation button twice; then, "three from the left," the commander continues and the soldiers obeys. That's how the officer spends most of his time during the hour and a half we are there. He further perfects the order by having added a new regulation: women for checkups are to form a queue on the left, men on the right.
We call the Humanitarian Center about the detainees. As usual, they promise to check and call us back. After about 30 minutes we still haven't heard from them, so we call again. They tell us that the detainee from 10:00 AM is waiting for a doctor to come and check him before he is taken in for interrogation. It seemed that the Center confused the 2 detainees; the guy is a cab driver currently being punished for having crossed some line that the commander directed cabs not to cross. We ask the Center to check the matter again; again they promise to call us back, and again they don't. Thus we go back and forth... At 17:30 we ring the Center for the last time; we already talked with the cab driver who told us he was released at 16:00 with no doctor arriving or interrogation happening, but at the center they still don't know anything - they still haven't managed to figure out why a man has been forced to waste 6 hours of his day in detention.
At the cars' check point there's a very long wait on the way out from Nablus; 3 hours, a cab driver tells us. All small cars go through extremely thorough and long check up - every bag in the trunk is taken out and investigated. Commercial cars, on the other hand, aren't checked at all.