Azzun, Beit Iba, Wed 26.3.08, Afternoon
Natanya translating. 14.24 On road 55 we went into the open entrance of Izbit Tabib from there it is usually possible to get into Azun. But after 1 kilometer between Isbit Tabib and Azun we met with a dirt mound and so went back to road 55 to Azun.
14.30 Azun- Blocked for the whole length of the road by high dirt heaps and barbed wire. Next to the blockage there is a Palestinian with enormous baskets of zarta evidently waiting for transport. He offered us a basket. He lives in Ginsofat which is a bit before Punduk. The turning from the main road is the road to Yakir and Revava. After this mitzvah we continued. Jit is not manned.
15.15 Beit Iba- When we got near the checkpoint we saw a read sign with letter A erased. (That is as if the area is under the Palestinian Authority but the letter which shows this is erased). So decide is this a Palestinian or an Israel area. We decided to photograph this sign. The second red sign which is right next to the road….the letter A exists. And next to the place where carts were being checked is a black sign on white which we also photographed…Checkin luggage… is a cart loaded with boxes. The sign was ridiculous. There were 11 cars in all. 15.25 - At the pedestrian lane the humanitarian lane was empty and also the bus was quickly checked. In the shed were 25 people and no detainees. The atmosphere is good. Reservist soldiers and one feels they are reservists but the checking is careful and everything if opened and it seems as in this atmosphere as if the Palestinians have become used to it. The commander and his soldiers told us that they suffered carrying out this duty. One said to Tammie that when he had been a regular soldier he had done terrible things and told her about them saying that now he regrets it. The DCO representative is presents and helps to check and give advice.
15.40- The woman soldier stops a white station wagon and calls Tomer for help. The atmosphere is to the point. They decide the car has to go back to Nablus because he does not have a permit to take goods though and therefore he must go through Awarta where there are the correct tools for such checking including a dogs. Tomer explains that there is a quote of 120 trade cars which have licenses to pass here. Beit Iba is mainly meant for people to come and go. And therefore Tomer explains the people can go to Nablus and exit in buses which are checked here but most prefer a more complicated route. To get to the checkpoint, to go through on foot and then take a taxi or bus on the other side and the reason for this is financial. The bus from the centre of Nablus to the villages outside is more expensive than this difficult route.
The military police here are also exceptionally polite. The one has a tag on which is written the name in Arabic English and Hebrew and they can be addressed by their names. At 16.30 we leave and go to Anabta.