Beit Iba, Tue 13.11.07, Morning
Beit Iba 07:00-08:45
The checking was quick and efficient, no lines formed, not pedestrian nor vehicular, though the drivers were requested to present papers, and sometimes the vehicles were checked.
The construction works going on there demand "creative" solutions from day to day. Today the checking took place in the narrow passage at the side of the concrete platform, men and women together, people going into the city and those coming out together. Women were not checked, men randomly. For the first time in ages we could stand near the people and near the checking point, we could exchange smiles and pleasantries with the Palestinians, and as always were amazed by their friendly attitude. A checkpoint is a checkpoint is a checkpoint but one can't ignore the fact that the relaxed mood we witnessed today (unlike, say, 2 weeks ago and actually almost always) was thanks to the checkpoint commander, a staff-sergeant whose management of the checkpoint was reflected in the overall atmosphere. At one point we heard screams, a group of soldiers surrounded a young man and yelling "you don't touch a soldier!" The commander led the young man away, reprimanded a soldier quietly saying "I told you not to raise your hand to people" and then escorted the man back.