Beit Iba, Jit, Thu 8.11.07, Afternoon
Several Palestinians during our shift made a point of telling us that the soldiers were good. One of the driver's of the donkey wagons that take parcels and sometimes people back and forth through the checkpoint even kissed his fingers as he praised the soldiers. This was the same driver who last week had had to wait 20 minutes on the vehicle line without being let through since the soldier thought he had tried to go around the checkpoint. At that time he told me the soldiers were very tough.
The commanding officer felt at ease talking to us and even stopped another soldier from preventing me from standing on the south side of the checkpoint where I could get the best overall view of the checkpoint. He also talked to the two guests.
There were no detainees during our shift.
Beit Iba 15.00 -16.35
When we arrived there were about 50 pedestrians on line from Nablus. Shortly after that it started to get more crowded. At about 15.40 there were over a hundred pedestrians and at 3:44 PM there were only about 30 pedestrians. By the time we left at 16.35 there were very few. The rate of pedestrians moving through the checkpoint was about 5 or 6 per minute. Parcels and IDs were checked. There wasn't an official side line for older people and women but if families with children, or other humanitarian cases waited at the side line, they were checked and allowed through. Most of the time the line to Nablus kept moving and occasionally pedestrians in that direction were waved on with out being checked.
The vehicle checking was very thorough in certain cases.
When we arrived at 15:00 there were about 5 vehicles to Nablus and 12 from Nablus. At 15.15 there were 8 vehicles to Nablus. There continued to be about 12 or 13 vehicles on the line from Nablus until 16:35 when there were only 6. At 16:00 there were 2 vehicles on line to Nablus and at 16.35, 6 vehicles.
At 15:00 the 12th and last on line from Nablus took 20 minutes to pass through. I timed the next to the last vehicle which was a bus on the 13 vehicle line from Nablus. The bus arrived at the checking booth took 7 more minutes to be checked. It left the checkpoint after a wait of about 30 minutes.
The checking was inconsistent. Some times a vehicle passed through in 18 seconds, sometimes a minute or two. A medical service vehicle going to Nablus took 11 minutes to be checked.
We passed through Jit and the checkpoint was not manned.