Beit Iba, Mon 28.4.08, Afternoon

Bilha A., Naamet A., Elisheva A., Yona A. (reporting).Translating: Charles

Beit Iba. 15:30  Halil, from Nablus, tells us that the checkpoint between Asira ash Shamaliya and Nablus has been removed.  Later, other Palestinians repeat this information.  A taxi driver asks whether we can help him remove the roadblock on the road to Sabastiya that has been there for two years and makes it hard for the taxi drivers to make a living. 15:50 The checkpoint commander stands on the road to Kusin and inspects the documents of some pedestrians.  Four people who tried to bypass the checkpoint are in the pen. One is a taxi driver caught trying to come through the hills.  He claims he was driving on the road, but the soldiers report tracking him from the two watchtowers in the hills.  Only a few pedestrians go through today, and vehicle traffic is also sparse. An elderly Palestinian merchant with a truck used to transport merchandise from Tulkarm to Nablus.  For the past month the soldiers have had a list of 60 trucks that are allowed to pass through the checkpoint, and his truck isn’t on the list.  He has ten children to support, and hasn’t worked for a month.  We tried to find out from the DCO and from the checkpoint commander whether there was any way to help him, but were unsuccessful. 

A group of eight American students leaves Nablus in the direction of Jenin.  They see us and want to hear about our work.  They’re spending a year at the American University in Cairo; they’re on break and took a trip to see the region.

 A young man approaches to complain that he’s not being allowed to pass through the fast lane. He’s a nurse.  Doctors and teachers are permitted to use the fast lane.  What’s the difference between a doctor and a nurse, he asks? 17:00 There’s no checkpoint at the Jit junction.  Four young men with yarmulkes are hanging around the yard of the pink house at Shvut Ami.   On our way out, through Eliyahu Gate, a soldier interviews us.  Naamet’s head is covered, and the soldier asks whether she’s with us.  We say she is, and he asks to see her ID card and to remove her sunglasses so he can see her eyes.