Beit Iba, Jit, Wed 12.3.08, Morning

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Chana P., Rina T. (reporting) Translating: Judith G.

Beit Iba,  Summary:  Nothing new.  The usual day at the checkpoint, everything is calm, just moving along.  How ordinary the occupation seems.  People wait quietly.  Also the usual detainee kept for several hours for no reason.  We have succeeded in stamping this situation into everyone's consciousness, both the Palestinians and the soldiers.  They are continuing to build the checkpoint; looks like there was some money left and it needs to be used up. 

08:25-09:30  Beit Iba.When we arrived there were 5 vehicles at the entrance to Nablus and 3 at the exit, which is a traffic jam by checkpoint standards, taking into account that so few cars are permitted to cross.  The inspections, at least at the entrance to Nablus, were very careful and slow.  A private car with an elderly couple was thoroughly checked.  They opened the baggage compartment.  Of course, the elderly man was made to get out of the car and open the baggage compartment for the young soldier. A truck driver is asked to open up the storage compartment.  There are a few sacks there.  The driver must show all their contents.  And all this – at the entrance to Nablus.  This slows the line down for several minutes. 

In addition, there is also a dog trainer with a dog who also stops vehicles for inspection.  They check a taxi.  I recognize the driver from the dozens of times we have met at the checkpoint.  He goes through daily a few times.  Don't the soldiers know him? At the side of the checkpoint in the direction of Kusin they have moved the fence about 10 meters (naturally, at the expense of the Palestinian land owner).  A tractor is flattening the ground there.  What can they build there which they haven't already built? …. There is a continual line of a few dozen youths (mostly students) at the entrance to Nablus.  Their documents are checked one by one against a list provided by the GSS.  Everything is orderly.  Everyone knows their role at the checkpoint.

 There is one detainee in the detention area, a taxi driver who probably crossed over some imaginary red line while waiting for clients.  This is also part of the ordinary checkpoint process.  The checkpoint commander, Second Lieutenant A. said that he is allowed to detain people for 3 hours, but he will shorten his detention… Muhamed Nasser from Radio Nablus reports that there is no checkpoint at 'Ein Bidan, and also no army movement within Nablus.  At the kiosk, we meet the grandson of the owner.  There is a school strike in the Palestinian Authority schools (but not in the UN schools), as there are no salaries for the teachers all because of corruption.  The people at the kiosk say that if it weren't for the IDF, the Hamas would have taken over long ago.  Its support is about 80%.  

After 09:00 the checkpoint is cleared.  Most of those going through are students as classes have begun.  No checkpoint at J'it Junction.