Beit Iba, Wed 16.4.08, Morning
Summary. The areas where the seeds of the settlers rule - drivers are pelted with stones at the settlement of Shave Shomron and a driver is forced at gunpoint to take a settler to the settlement of Chomesh (which is supposed to have been evacuated).
A confrontation between ourselves and the commander, sergeant I. as to where we may stand. The MP scolded us and the commander summoned the police who did not arrive. Since the erection of the new checkpoint again and again they try to make things more difficult for us to see what is happening in all areas of the checkpoint.
New permits of passage have been printed for the Palestinians which makes it easier for them to pass through the checkpoints.
8.45 - 10.35 Beit Iba
When we got to the checkpoint the taxi drivers told us that in the last period of time drivers are stoned at the crossroads of Jinida, Shave Shomron ( next to Bichard and Levaniem). Settlers from Shave Shomron had caused damage to their cars and when they complained at the checkpoint the soldiers said this was not their business. Yesh Din is dealing with this.
Another driver told us that yesterday on road 50 a settler had stopped him by threatening him with his pistol and forced him to take him to the new settlement of Chomes which was supposed to have been evacuated and given great attention in the media. Now it has been settled gain very quietly. When we asked if he had been paid the driver said that he had been only too relieved that they had freed him. We advised him to complain but he said he had had bad experience with complaints.
Many buses with happy children left Nablus for pleasure trips. When we got there we saw many children running from the checkpoint which they had crossed on foot to their bus. Others came through with the children without much delay. One bus was detained and after an argument of 6 minutes went on its way. It seems that the license of the car was on the name of another driver who was ill. Another driver had taken his place but thanks to the intervention of Tomer of the DCO they were let through and then only because the bus had children in it. Had it been left to the commander things would have probably turned out differently.
Today there is a dogtrainer and every now and again cars are checked. Today also there are carts with goods from factories in Nablus , sofas and jeans because it is very hard to get a license of a car to exit Nablus and now even more so for the checkpoint of Beit Iba.
Today there are reservists under the command of sergeant I. When we arrived there was on detainee of 38 who had stood in the humanitarian line which is only for those over 45. We asked where this was written and we could not see if this was truly so as this is an area of the checkpoint which we cannot see. Tomer says the man refused to stand in another line and so was punished. When we tried to approach the man the commander came up summoning the police on his phone. We took the man's phone number. He had already been there half an hour. The commander told the man in our presence that because of our provocative behavior he would be kept there for three hours and insisted that I write this down. The man was very angry and kept asking in a loud voice exactly what he had done. Later he told us on the phone that he had been freed after an hour.
9.30 A military policeman arrived, also a reservist, a major who was very angry with us because we do not act as well as our friends do. That is we do not stand outside the checkpoint which is a sterile area and a closed army area. We stood where we were.
Tomer of the DCO stood next to us answering our questions and said that now there are permits of passage for privileged Palestinians. VIP and VMC and another "A Palestinian of higher rank. All these do not have to stand in line and be checked by the soldiers but only to show the document. So this is the result of the cooperation with Abu Mazan.
Another soldier identifies with us and it would seem that the commander is not popular with his soldiers. Together we watch the old people coming a long distance from the taxis to the checkpoints.
Dir Sharif. Zacharia told us that on his way to the checkpoint after 9.00 he met up with a rolling checkpoint there. ON our way to Beit Iba at 8.45 and also at 10.35 we saw nothing. Crossroads of Jit were empty.
Shvut Ami where we saw no one but this does not mean that there are no settlers in the illegal building which has already been evacuated 10 times and then just a week ago aw well. We saw furniture outside the red house.