Beit Iba, Sun 29.6.08, Afternoon
Spied on one porter's wagons at Beit Iba, in Hebrew: "Don't give up."
To whom addressed, we don't know. What we do grasp is that the phrase
has to do with perseverance and strength, with the adage not to quit,
and to keep moving – in spite of restrictions on the freedom of
15:00-16:00 Beit Iba
We arrive at Beit Iba, having been told, by a MachsomWatch colleague,
that there was an incident here earlier in the day. The commander, A.,
knows nothing about it, came on at 13:00, and the event was at about
noon, confirmed by T., the duty DCO representative, who was not
present at 12:00, since he, too, came on at 13:00. On the other hand,
he had information as to what had gone on. We already know that there
is a drug addict in Deir Sharaf who wanders to and fro across the
checkpoint. Evidently, there are two others, and T. tells that one of
them crossed around noon and "this one went into a crisis." Nothing
more, nothing less.
A quiet day at Beit Iba, but A. does his best to move us back against
the wall, away from where we can see anything of import. Still, as we
wander around the checkpoint, we are not disturbed. Soldiers chat with
each other, a group is sitting chatting in the central checking booth,
and it's a fairly easy atmosphere. On the other hand, when couples try
to come through the fast lane together, the men, usually young, are
sent back to stand in the men's line. And when a family with children
does the same, A. tells the father, too, to go back and stand in line.
Happily, the line at the two working turnstiles is never more than 20
in each, a similar number in the fast lane. All bags, usually of
shopping, are thoroughly checked and poked into.
As usual, men and women students, returning from their studies, the
men willing to chat about their treatment "like animals," as they show
the belts that have to be taken off to pass through the screening
area, yet willing to hear about who we are and where we come from.
University studies go on until August.
A., the sergeant commander, makes sure that doors are closed properly:
door to the checking booth and to the central checking position by the
turnstiles. What this means is not entirely clear.
Little vehicular traffic, occasionally a couple of trucks, sometimes
one or two cars in either direction.