Beit Iba, Jit, Thu 31.1.08, Afternoon
15:56 Beit Iba.
Above Nablus, at the top of the hills, snow can be seen. We are told today is an official 'snow day', so people remained at home. Also a strike is held today by the Palestinian authority. This explains the low number of people seen today at the checkpoint. Those who do pass, are required to do so under tall metal detectors, which beep constantly, indirectly causing people to take off overcoats, shirts, belts, shoes… the horrible sound just seems to add to the usual gloom.
The soldiers are checking: bags, permits, IDs, luggage compartments, faces, reliability.
A ten year old child approaches the soldiers holding up a document. He wishes to pass through to Nablus. The soldiers do not speak his language, and do not look at the document. One of them leans against another and smiles a cruel smile- 'mamnua' he says. (Access denied). The child turns and leaves.
The soldiers check the cars slowly. Two of them are joking with one of the drivers and another joins them, glancing at me occasionally. Is he thinking that I read through the lie? I wonder.
17:39 Jit. No checkpoints at the moment.