Beit Iba, Wed 9.4.08, Morning
8.35 - 9.50 Beit Iba
No lines and few cars. The checkpoint is handled quietly and the attitude to the Palestinians is satisfactory. Two drivers are detained. They say that the morning hours are the only ones when they have work. They take people to the town and do not have permits to leave Nablus in their cars. They are both employees and are frightened about what the owner will say. They are freed in less than an hour,
As we know the Palestinians now have to take goods through Awarta and the trip between Tulkarm and Nablus which is about 23 kilometres takes longer than an hour and that does not include the time waiting to be checked which sometimes is as long as an hour and a half. We try to find out if there is a way out of this situation.
First Tomer of the DCO answers and he says that this is the result of the pressure which is felt at Beit Iba which we think has not been pressured in the last year. The DCO is aware of the economic and humanitarian situation and therefore they have decided on quota of permits to be given to trucks passing through Beit Iba. Last week 70 trucks got a permit and this week 120. But with that there is a plan to open another passage at Kuchin. He does not not exactly where. We ask if maybe the checkpoint at Sara where a passage had been opened and closed in a short time. Tomer does not know.
Another side of the story is given bu Abu Yusef. He says that the trucks are sent to Awarta and that there has been collusion with the Palestinian Authority with the goal of favouring the interests of both side. He says that this is to catch those who are evading taxes. He is a big business man who has been interests. He sees this as cooperation between the army and the authority. He says that such tricks are added to various other reasons as to why the Hamas will win elections on the West Bank.