Beit Iba, Jit, Shave Shomron, Mon 8.10.07, Morning
Thorough checks of pedestrians at the entrance to Nablus, including women and elderly, and long lines. No real change in the state of building.
07:35 Jit Junction – no checkpoint.
07:50 Beit Iba
About seven cars in line at the entrance to Nablus. A bus is being inspected at the entrance. The passengers are not alighting, or the youngsters were taken off first. IDs collected, checked, and the bus is released after 5-7 minutes. The checks are relatively thorough and long – 15 minutes for seven cars.
A taxi driver told us that the line at el-Bidan is very long and, as usual, there is little that can be done about it.
The pedestrian line at the entrance is very long. Sometimes reaches 50 women and 30 men. Still in the sun without shade. Let’s hope that when rain starts the roofing will be ready. The women are crowded together, line unclear, hot and unpleasant, especially when there are babies and small children.
The checkpoint commander is meticulous, not unpleasant but almost inconsiderate, checks himself and takes care that there are a number of checking stations, but doesn’t pass old women or mothers with babies. In the hut, three detainees. When they dare to stand on the side closest to the checkpoint, the commander blurts “Retards, sit!!!” and sends one of his soldiers to seat them.
The detainees, two youngsters who aren’t really excited by the situation, sneaking through, and detained though their IDs have been checked, as “punishment,” according to the commander’s announcement as he promises us, when we leave Beit Iba, that they will be released in 20 minutes. A third detainee, an eleven year old boy, “lost” his father who crossed before him into Nablus. The checkpoint commander will release him at 08:37, while we are there, and demands that the boy retraces his steps. The child will try to pass later with his “adopted” father, but is identified by the commander who sends him back yet again. Children cannot pass without parents, and a girl who comes with her aunt is not permitted to cross. Those are the orders, the commander says, though he makes exceptions when the children are very small. The explanation is to prevent the use of children to transport explosives if they know that it can easily be done. It’s not clear how they really know that the specific child belongs to whoever identifies himself as the parent, nor is it clear what is the danger with a child more than with an adult in transferring explosive charges – after all the child’s bags can also be inspected....
08:30 – It takes 13 minutes to check 40 women.
A peddler from Qusin dares to infiltrate and is punished for having no permit to enter Nablus this week.
08:40 – the line of women is down to ten, though there are still 30 men.
08:50 – no lines.
09:00 – we leave.
09:05 – Shavei Shomron – passage to Jenin still closed, as is the road up to the blocked village.