Beit Iba, Mon 24.3.08, Morning
Even though the closure has ended and there is no segregation there is little movement on the roads or at the checkpoints.
07.40 Jit is empty. At Beit Iba there are no lines of cars. The owner of the kiosk has planted climbers on it as he says that the word is that in 2010 the checkpoints will be taken down and it might as well be good to look at in the meantime.
We see a lone truck waiting in the direction of Nablus, but the soldiers are busy chatting, drinking, checking a porter who passes the checkpoint several times a day and arguing with the taxi drivers, so there is no soldier left at the car checking area and he can do nothing while he is unguarded. 15 minutes later I call the attention of Tomer of the DCO to this and he immediately sends the truck driver through.
There are few pedestrians in any direction. The IDs of women are checked when they enter and sometimes against the computer but the IDs are returned with great politeness. The only unpleasant voice which can be heard is that of a military policewoman who is vulgar and rude. Both Tomer and the commander who is a reservist try to calm her. Tomer deals with every problem which comes to him and the new reservists try but some are warlike.
Two taxi drivers are detained after an argument with the soldiers. Tomer says that they will be freed in an hour. They do not want to speak to us.
At 09.15 we leave.