Beit Iba, Tue 12.2.08, Morning
On the way to the checkpoint we again see a long line of workers at Sha'ar Eliyahu. Next time we will try to find a place to stop and see what is happening.
Beit Iba. Due to the pouring rain at the entrance to Nablus it is very difficult for pedestrians to get through. At the car lane there are renovations and a cross bar which is lifted and lowered. There are many students who have their exercise books and other materials in their hands. Now and again women and older people are checked. At 07.30 there is a long line of people which is handled fairly quickly. From somewhere a Palestinian arrives to sweep the checkpoint. There are only about 2-3 cars. When we arrive we see that there are detainees who look relatively old. We were not allowed to go to them and the commander explained that they had crossed in a forbidden place but he would not say for how long they will be detained or how long they have already been there.
07.45 We phone the humanitarian center about them but the soldier says he cannot help us as we do not have their IDS. We should make sure that we have the possibility of getting to the enclosure so as to get the details of people so as to help them.
At 08.20 a Palestinian arrives who says that he is their boss and he said that
they had finished their night shift of 15 hours. He says that they are permanent workers who never come through the checkpoint. The commander sends him back saying that it is not logical that they would have worked 15 hours. "What sort of a shift is that. And he says that in any case they have to go through the checkpoint." 15 minutes later we again try the center and are told that they will try. We stress that these are elderly people who have worked many hours. Maybe that hurried things up because at last at 09.00 they are freed. But only after being lectured on their behavior.
At the exit of Nablus the magnometer squeaks mainly because of shoes and of course it is hard to take them off and stand on the cold cement. A young man who aroused suspicion because of the squeaking is checked and not allowed to pass.
When we leave rain starts again and the rain from the roof of the checkpoint
falls directly on the lane of the pedestrians. We also are in puddles and go back to the cars. .