Beit Iba, Mon 21.1.08, Afternoon

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Elisheva A., Tamara H., Ziona S. Natanya translating.
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

  14:30 Beit Iba.

There are 10 cars at the entrance to Nablus, about 50 people in the so-called humanitarian line and about 50 people in the ordinary line. The checking is stopped and the commander, second lieutenant Y. gathers the men for a drill. At the same time a number of Palestinians come towards the checkpoint. All he has to do is make a small motion with his hand and they stop…

About 8 minutes later they go to their posts and the humanitarian line passes quickly. When two Palestinian police try to pass through it they are sent to the ordinary line where there are about 100 people. The magnometer squeaks all the time. On the other side of the new turnstiles is a table for  checking. Every male shows his ID, does the ritual dance and sometimes has to take his shoes off. Goes to the magnometer and comes out with his eyes downcast and his belt in his hand hurrying to dress himself again.

15.10  A cart loaded with new jeans arrives and the owner is ordered to take all the parcels down and these are thrown onto the dirty ground. It takes them time to reload .  These are not meant for Israel but for the villages in the surroundings of Nablus. At the most to Tulkarm.

15.30 Sergeant R. of the DCO whom we know as being very efficient in helping during the hours when there is pressure is present.  He says that due to his demand doctors, teachers and lecturers pass in the side line. This is a certain achievement when one remembers the respectable lecturer who was sent to the enclosure because he had tried to pass in the humanitarian line and not to be pressed in with the crowded young men. This did not help him. Not requests, not his suggestion to leave his ID  and not to be put into the enclosure and this while his students see his disgrace. It is hard to forget the expression of anger and humiliation on his face.R. also explains to us that it is true that none of us would want such checkpoints next to our houses but the Palestinians are already used to this and see it as a normal way of life. Yes sergeant R. but what can one do when 10 minutes later two young students come up to us and tell of the daily humiliation when they have to strip. One of them says, " I was in Dubai and came back here. There I was a free man. Here I am ruled by others and humiliated every moment of my life. Here I am like an animal in a cage. I have to take of my shoes, my belt. The soldier does not think of me as a human being. I want to tell you something quietly. He does not even listen to me but shouts. Please do something."

Elisheva tries to say that the terrorists are also responsible for this situation and that at the airports there are also such checking and his answer is, "Where am I going …..from my village to the university.  The terrorists do not go through the checkpoints.

And so sergeant R., even though he is carrying out his work and that he is one of the most humane of the soldiers but he does not know that one does not get used to humiliation. We parted from the young people in the hope that we would be able to do something against the occupation and they would resist the terrorists.  But the question here is how long will it be before despair will drive them to terrorism.    __._,_.___ _._,___