Beit Iba, Mon 28.1.08, Afternoon
Beit Iba,14:45. No line of cars at the entrance to Nablus but the pedestrian line was completely different. Everything there was conducted in loud shouts. Bitterly cold. About 30 people in the humanitarian line and a man and a woman complain about the line being mixed. There are tens of students in the ordinary lines and it is hard to see how many there are but the noise is evidence of the overcrowding. Besides all this the magnometer does not stop squeaking and each time people are returned again and again and the whole time one can hear the woman soldier from the armoured booth screaming to them to go back and not and again her shouts become even louder. Behind the no man's land between the two turnstiles one can hear that something is happening in the line. Because he is scared of disturbances the commander has a soldier stand with his rifle pointed at the crowd. He is leaning on the cement ledge.
Three men are detained in the enclosure and the commander says that two of them ran away…proudly as
if he is a kindergarten teacher. The third, a driver of a truck has been there since 08:00. We spoke about this to the DCO representative who had "inherited" him from the morning shift. There is no known reason for his being detained. Neither the commander nor the DCO representative know of a reason. He has to wait for the police or the secret service. His truck stands in the southern lane. He gives us his ID and Nimrod from the DCO tries to solve the problem, telephone after telephone. In the meantime four others who tried to slip through and who were hunted join the others. Some are freed after an hour. And new people come in. Again we phone the center about the truck driver.
A young man who is at the magnometer tries to get help from us but before we can hear a military policeman pulls him back and starts to scold him. "You are asking help from her? She will help you?" Later when he came past I tried to speak to him to make peace but all we got were unpleasant words. We took the number of the driver who had been detained and at 16. 35 we left with heavy hearts and frozen to the bone.
On our way home at 17.15 the driver was freed. FROM 08.00 TO 17.15 HE WAS DETAINED FOR NO REASON. No one knows why. 9 hours in the cold.