Beit Iba, Tue 26.2.08, Morning
07.24 Beit Iba. There are many pedestrians but most of them are students who are checked randomly. The younger woman are checked more carefully because of an alert. No detainees. A representative of the DCO is present. Those leaving Nablus pass through the x-ray machines and have to take off their belts, phones, etc. A young man dressed in a smart black suit asks us to look at the ridiculous slip shoes which he has to wear so as not to tramp on the muddy cement floor. When he has passed he takes out elegant black shoes which he puts on. He says that each day he goes through Beit Iba or Hawarra …he says this in American English with a mid West accent and says that always there are problems and he has to wait and he says that he feels that all his life is passing at the checkpoints.
One of the soldiers says that he knows him and that he does pass there each day and greets him. And then one of those absurd incidents takes place which happens at the checkpoints. He gives him his hand and the Palestinian looks around in amazement but the soldier is so friendly and naive that he has no way out but to shake hands. .