Beit Iba, Jit, Wed 14.5.08, Morning
Bush is in town and as result there are checkpoints at Al Badhan and Jit checkpoint 408
at Asira a Shmaliah the checkpoint closed in the morning.And this after it had only been open 1- days. Tomorrow is the Day of the Nakba and maybe this has also had an influence. At Beit Iba is a new group of reservists and things seem calm and reasonable…that is for a checkpoint under the occupation.
At Jit the checkpoints for those coming from Hawarra there are 4 cars and 45 from Beit
Iba. We did not stop as there is a problem of where to park without getting a report from the police which they enjoy doing even for the most doubtful of reasons.
Beit Iba, 9.05 –
10.40 (after we had been to Anabta).
Reserve soldiers but evidently different from those of the past weeks and this can be seen in their attitude to the Palestinians and how they run the checkpoint and also to us personally.
The commander (Tal) is polite and prepared to explain and also when there are differences of opinion he is calm and to the point. He made no problem as to where we stood as had happened with the previous unit. They checked the IDs of all the young men going into Nablus against the short list which is composed of the last 4 numbers of those wanted.
When the line became long a soldier stood in the middle and checked and anyone whose number came up was immediately checked in the centre office as they have the computer. But people did not have to wait long and a line of 20 cleared up
in a few minutes.
A man, not young, in his
40s or 50s complained that each day when he passes his ID is checked (because of the last 4 numbers). The DCO representative Asam frees him immediately but there is no way to help him and next time he will again be detained.
Now those standing in the line to enter Nablus
are sent back about 5 metres. A soldier keeps order and because there is only one line he asks in a shout if he should bring in the women……that is if he should
put the women in the line,.
At the exit is a short line for the most part. About 10.00 there are 10 men and there is also a fast
humanitarian lane. We see a dialogue here which in the beginning seems friendly but is an argument. A Palestinian of 40 has dared to stand in the lane of the older man and the soldier pushes him away. We went up and complained
about the violence of the soldier and then an argument ensued with the commander who said that this would encourage the man to disobey orders. The argument was calm and to the point and each one made his own point clear. The commander also agreed that the soldier had not acted as he should.
The number of cars allowed in and out of Nablus
was small and therefore there were no lines and it took about 8 minutes to a car. Today only young men got out of the buses to be checked in the pedestrian lane. A week ago all had to get out. It is not clear how this is decided and
also the commander did not give us a clear answer.
Mahmud Nasser of the radio said that today the line at Al Badhan ;where there is again a checkpoint was not as long as the previous day and took about 15 minutes. He thinks thatin the afternoon things will be worse.
We met two ecumenical volunteers who live in Tulkarm and they mentioned a procession evidently in
memory of the Nakba.