Beit Iba, Jit, Mon 1.10.07, Afternoon
Imperviousness is the word for this shift at Beit Iba. Small children are pushed together with students in the turnstiles. The fact that this is towards the end of a day of fasting has no affect on the students. Children of six are already big enough to be shoved into a mass of people.
14.40 A man of about 50 who speaks good Hebrew tells us that he is responsible for the upkeep of the new campus at El Najjah. Yesterday he wanted to go through the side line which is allowed to men of his age but the captain refused to allow this. He stayed there in a demonstrative manner and another 15 people of the staff joined him. The man speaks cynical about the pointlessness of the general search conducted on those of all ages, the humiliation which he and his friends undergo every day.
Many students are returning home from the university shoved into a line with men of 50-60, women and small children. The sideline is blocked by a soldier who will not let anyone through. A soldier checks the bags on a table and this includes an elderly man of about 70 who has parcels of cakes which may be meant for the end of the fast.
I turn to the commander and ask him to open a humanitarian line but he says he does not have the man power. I wonder if this is because of the manpower being used to protect the settlers going up to form new settlements. And in the meantime he himself is conducing a flirtation with a woman soldier in the booth. I suggest he sends the soldier blocking the side path to do so but he says this impossible and there is no representative of the DCO either.
I phone the humanitarian centre and Gilad says he will deal with this and in the meantime the elderly and women are waiting in the sideline with their ids at the ready only to be told to go back and people shout that the soldiers are standing and not doing anything.
14.50 Two soldiers from the car lane being 4 young men to the enclosure…they had tried to take a shortcut and been caught. Their ids are taken and they will not be freed until 16.00 and soon another 4 are added to this lot. They ask to explain to the captain that they were hurrying home to break the fast but he does not care.
15.00 The bus was full of women and had difficulty making its way. A long line of cars at the exit of Nablusand the checking was very slow. It took the bus 20 minutes. The ids are collected by the soldiers and military police which are checked. The driver is told to open the baggage compartment and the pavement stones are in the way and the driver has to move these heavy objects.
The soldiers at the car lane are very energetic and no one is misses. A car stops with three elderly people inside and give in their ids. The driver opens the baggage compartment and the soldier checks every bag and takes out three white envelopes which are sealed and the driver is told to open one and when this is done the soldier hardly looks inside at the contents.
15.15 A family with three children, a baby and two little girls of 6 and 8 tries to pass at the side. The little girls have big satchels on their backs and are sent by the soldier to the ordinary line. The man explains to the soldier that the woman cannot pass in the ordinary line with the baby and the soldier says she can go through but he must take the children who look desperate. The bags are very big but the soldier feels they are old enough to cope in the crowd. The family remains standing another half an hour and slowly other elderly people who are used to passing each day in this line join them.
15.45 Gilad again says he is dealing with the subject. After 10 minutes we speak to the lieutenant who eventually goes up to the soldier and they go through. Everyone else is sent back and the people say to us "You see this and you do nothing?" We again ask and are told that today they cannot allow another line. I again phone the centre and say that things are going to explode.
15.15 Suddenly there is a change and the captain says to open a humanitarian line. Why could they not do so before?
16.00 A young student goes through and the soldier shouts at him to return. The man says he has been checked and the soldier says no. His id is taken and he is sent to the jorra and when he does not do so he is pushed in by force.
16.35- Jit: The checkpoint on the northern side. The eastern path is blocked. No lines. There are signs "We do not gamble on the home."