Azzun, Beit Iba, Mon 14.4.08, Morning
09.05 Azzun is closed and a military car is at the entrance.
09.25 Beit Iba. The lines are not long and there are about 8 cars in each direction. Two buses full of women and children are waiting to enter Nablus. The commander who is a sergeant and another soldier get in, check quickly and release them. There are hardly any pedestrians going in and young people are checked against the list. At the exit where there are two checking areas there are not many people waiting. People have to strip and empty their belongings. No smiles when they leave.
10.15 We see a long line at the entrance to the city. More than15 cars. The commander is not present. Has he gone to rest? Amongst the reservists are a number of religious men and though they do not answer Francis’ questions they do not actively oppose our being at the checkpoint. We see that the soldier checking cars at the entrance is delaying cars for a long time and one of the drivers says that there are long delays when women of Machsomwatch are at the checkpoint. The DCO promised to deal with this and goes over to him. When we left we saw that the passage was swifter but that there were still many cars