Beit Iba, Shave Shomron, Tue 29.1.08, Morning
Comment: as someone who was in Beit Iba only a long time ago, I was "very impressed" by the (stupendous) financial and design investment in the permanency and institutionalisation of the checkpoint: the traffic islands, curbstones, traffic lights, road signs, checking stations, fences that divide the checkpoint from the quarry. The checkpoint is positioned like an island that perpetuates the Occupation and control when you approach Beit Iba from the east, between the red sign explaining to Israelis that this is an area under Palestinian rule and the checkpoint compound – Israel which is the ruler by force and by fact in the area does not deal with the infrastructure of the decaying (Palestinian) roads.
08:02 –Beit Iba. Lively traffic of waves of people entering Nablus. In general, those entering are not checked. However, two young women apparently not conversant with the checkpoint approach the checking station, not knowing whether to proceed or wait. The soldier asks for their IDs and they continue immediately.Very few people coming out. Older men and women are checked in a separate line. Loosening of trouser fastenings is random and not all are required to remove the belts. While we stay at the checkpoint, at any given moment five vehicles are requesting to enter Nablus . It was difficult to estimate the number exiting the city. Our umbrella did not stand up to the howling wind, and we could not emerge from the covered area for a better view. At first we stood in the area close to the checking station. One of the soldiers came over and asked us to move, since people were passing there, and we should leave the area "clean." We moved back a bit.
08:55 – we left Beit Iba.
09:00 – Shavei Shomron. No vehicles. No people.