Beit Iba, Wed 5.3.08, Morning
Summary. The meeting with the coordinator of the
activities in the occupied territories has helped as far as the quiet and
efficient running of the checkpoint is concerned. In our meeting we dealt with
the problems which Naomi Lalo had suggested…the closing of the whole market in
Beita, the violence of the soldiers at Beit Iba and the threat to destroy the
play park in Azzun.
We received an exhaustive explanation of the policy of
giving out lisences for cars at Nablus
by the DCO.
7.50 – 9.50 Little movement which has been the
case for months (more about this later) and also the amount entering at this
hour especially students is less than usual. Maybe because of the fear of the
demonstrations in support of Gaza.
Those entering are hardly checked. Few people leaving. Everything is very
quiet. There are many soldiers and also a dogtrainer and the DCO
representative. Maybe this is in anticipation of the visit of the major-general
Yossie Mishlev, the coordinator of the acitivies in the area. We spoke to Naomi
L. about the subjects which we wished to discuss with him. He came up to us and
the people with him, amongst them Polly, the head of the local administration
and Raad from the DCO replied to us. They said that the wholesale market in Beita
which had been closed since the closure on the village (and also on Hawarra)
which had affected the marketing of the agricultural produce of all the area
and which had caused great economic difficulties had been opened the previous
night. There was still a threat to destroy the park but this had been put off.
None of them reacted concerning the violent attack of the commander of the
checkpoint on a taxi driver.
The respresentative of the DCO asked us to
understand the regulations concerning licenses for cars entering Nablus. He said that for
some years no cars without a special license from the DCO could enter and this
had to be renewed every three months.
The population of Nablus and the area is about 320,000 people
and this according to a Palestinian population census. The amount and types of
cars has a limit which is governed by the size of the population but it
is not filled. There are 1000s of permits for the area, about 5000. When a
request is submitted there has to be a convincing argument about why a car is
needed. That is the right of a driver to exit or enter Nablus ( which seems to obvious to every
young Israeli of 17) does not exist here. Two of the reasons which are accepted
here are humanitarian, for example if there is a handicapped child who needs to
go to hospital…or for purposes of trade.
Those who are prevented are for security reasons (and
the arbitrariness of this we will not go into here), or anyone who has a police
file and it does not matter what and also anyone prevented by the Operations
Branch of the GHQ…not clear what but this is temporary.