Beit Iba, יום א' 25.5.08, אחה"צ

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(Alix W., Aliya S., Susan L. (reporting


Beit Iba. At the entrance to the checkpoint, we're met by Taneeb, the owner of
the bus company from Tulkarm that bears his name. He complains about
business: not surprising, the universities are on vacation, and the
checkpoint and its surrounds are almost empty. He mentioned too,
changes that continue to be made in the "bureaucracy" of Occupation,
more and more restrictions.
As usual, the lane by which one could once approach the center of the
checkpoint is barricaded, this time by a small bench placed across it.

There's a new bunch of soldiers, not reservists, and commander J. and his
men don't have a lot to do today. No students. Except, a young woman
who is stopped, telling us that she's a Jordanian, still doesn't have
a Palestinian ID, and is studying medicine at An-Narjah. Her friend
waits for her, as J. checks, and she grows impatient, saying, "I pass
through here every day without a problem." True, these soldiers seem
to be learning the ropes, but she's let go within five minutes when
T., the DCO representative, hands her back her papers, talks to her in
Arabic and off she goes on her way to Tulkarm.

14:50 -- there's one young man in the detention compound who is
shouting, and evidently, according to T., kept there because of his
shouting. He is soon released, is clearly mentally disturbed and hangs
around the center of the checkpoint, talking a lot more, while
commander T. isn't bothered by him, or, for that matter, by us!

14:55 -- there are very few people in the two turnstile lanes, usually
never more than nine, in the "fast" lane the same number.
At this time, not one vehicle in either direction, so that the taxis
on the far side of the checkpoint, nearer the village of Beit Iba, are
clearly visible, dropping off an occasional passenger.

 15:10 -- as we leave to go back to the car, a driver with an East
Jerusalem ID asks why Nablus is the only city he can't enter with his
vehicle: not a problem with Tulkarm or with Qalqiliya, as we know.
Again, neither rhyme nor reason.