Awarta, Beit Iba, Mon 11.2.08, Afternoon
Beit Iba.13:00. There are 2 lines at the pedestrian checkpoint. There are about 50 people in the "humanitarian" line, but the inspection is swift in the new facility and the DCO rep is assisting. On the other hand, the line with the young men in front of the turnstiles moves very slowly. The new machine, the beeping magnometer, the circuitous route, the taking off of belts, the exit from the checkpoint with the belt and an embarrassed expression – all these things create an atmosphere of humiliation. It increase, when the young Second Lieutenant (Tomer) scowls at people who are hurrying to sit down and put on their belts, and tells them to hurry up and get out so as not to get in his way.
15:30. The checkpoint commander asks me to move away from the area near the exit turnstile. In fact, it is the only place from which one can see the detention area from over the bars. He claims that the area at the exit from the checkpoint has to remain free. I answer him that it is no problem to stand wherever he wants, as long as I can see. I didn't accept his offer to stand far away. In the end, I moved to the southern side of the checkpoint, from which point I was able to move around down the line and see things quite well. The DCO man told us about the huge sums which had been paid for renovating the checkpoint. Yona pointed out that all the residents of Shderot could have received protection for the same amount of money.
15:35. A detainee is put into the detention cell. From our lookout we see him talking with the soldier, the DCO man. After about 25 minutes, he is released. The DCO man tells us that he is a bus driver. In order to prevent too much traffic at the exit, most of the trucks carrying merchandise go out by way of Awarta, and only a very few have a permit to leave from Beit Iba. This man's truck didn't have that kind of permit. So, he was ordered by the soldier to turn back, and then he got out of his truck to take back his documents and, at the same moment, his friend who was sitting next to him "stole" the checkpoint and drove out. He tried to get through in the pedestrian line. But, he was caught and was released in the end, with a warning.
16:00. The dog trainer treats her dog with love, until a full transit vehicle leaves Nablus. The driver and the passengers are taken out of the car and the dog goes in – to work. He goes in from the back, climbs on the seats, the back ones, goes in from the front – climbs onto the seats and the steering wheel. In 10 minutes he is finished. The driver takes out a towel, wets it and wipes all the seats and the steering wheel. It isn't clear if this is because of the mud on the dog's feet or because he is an unclean animal. The whole story took about 20 minutes.