Beit Iba, Shave Shomron, Sun 13.7.08, Afternoon

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Ruthie W.Z., Alix W., Susan L. (reporting)


"The Israeli occupation has gone crazy" wrote Gideon Levy in today's
Haaretz. "The Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet security service have
invented something new: a war on shopping malls and nursery
schools….." The inhumanity and ludicrousness of these most recent
aspects of the Occupation were confirmed today from people we spoke to
in Deir Sharaf and at Beit Iba. The "Nablus Mall," with its many, many
shops, is already closed or is about to be closed; school buses have
been pulled off the streets and nursery schools shut tight. By day,
authority is vested in the Palestinian Police force; by night, the IDF
takes over. The issue for us, as MachsomWatch, and as Israelis, is how
do we let the rest of the world know what is going on? We have a moral
obligation to do so.

15:00 Beit Iba
Perhaps not surprisingly, it's a very quiet day here. The heat of the
summer and the ever increasing padlock of occupation: who can tell?
Although the commander, a second lieutenant, grins and says that he's
not seen a MachsomWatcher since 08:00 this morning, he "cannot talk
about what is happening in Nablus," which, in fact, lets us know that
he knows something is afoot.

There are quite a few semitrailers that pass from Nablus, an
occasional ambulance, or private car, but it's one at a time, and
there's never a line of vehicles in either direction. There are not
many pedestrians either: about 10-12 young men at both turnstiles, at
times, not a soul in the fast lane. This leaves plenty for time for
fraternization between the commander, two of his soldiers, DCO
representative T., and a member of the opposite sex, who proudly
proclaims, in a loud voice, that both her mother and her father were
officers. Which is the reason, we may presume, that she is licensed to
spend the time wandering around from one position to the next, between
the central checking area and the vehicle checking posts.

16:10 Shavei Shomron
Lo and behold, the gate on Route 60, once the main road to Jenin, is
wide open (it's supposed to be permanently closed). Not a soldier in
sight at ground level, but we see eyes staring at us from the lookout
tower above. As we wait to see what happens next, a soldier
approaches, from on high, goes over to the gate, closes it, and on
being asked why it was open answers: "Now it's closed" (this is not a
Samuel Beckett play: this is a real, live occupation).

On the main road below, just after the junction with Route 55, going
towards 'Anabta, we see one truck making its way gingerly over a ditch,
bumping its way, as others in front of it, over the steep, dusty
hillside – in the same direction as Route 60, the open closed road
(open for some, but not others, i.e., apartheid on demand). __._,_.___