Beit Iba, Thu 21.2.08, Morning
9.15 No line of car or people. 2 checking posts and a humanitarian. Sometimes the soldiers stand and wait for the Palestinians. Those entering Nablus also have IDs checked. The commander says there are no limitations. A worker arrives with a large and encumbered box of building materials. The soldiers helps him to take all this over. A conventional element of politeness of helped one another but so unusual in these places that we are touched.
Two detainees. A driver who did not place his car exactly where the soldiers wanted it. We cannot no to him. The commander explains how he has sinned and says that he has been detained for 3 hours. We argue that the punishment is not legal and also about the length of time. The commander feels a bit uncomfortable and says that all is being done according to the assistant battalion commander. We phone the centre and Sari says she will check and to see that a representative of the DCO will come. We return after a while and find another taxi driver detained. Now there are three. The DCO arrives and hears the story but when we ask that he should shorten the time of punishment he shrugs his shoulders. He comes back and says in 45 minutes they will be freed. The first two had been detained at 8.30 and if they are freed at 10.30 they will have gained an hour. We leave at 10.00 without waiting for them to be freed.