Beit Iba, Tue 15.7.08, Morning
(Chana S. translating)
7.27 Good morning to those leaving Nablus through Beit Iba checkpoint! At the 60/557 road junction a rolling checkpoint is checking those coming from the Beit Iba direction. Surprising, to say the least, and extremely annoying to have a checkpoint so close to the Beit Iba one.
7.33 Beit Iba. Is it our imagination or have they really moved the sign of the entrance to Zone A westward, to the buildings and parking places? DCO was present. We saw no doghandler.
When we arrived there was a line of about 25 people entering Nablus, but at 7.43 the line vanished due to the opening of 3(!) checking stations one of which was staffed by the commander. The commander used ‘ar’ga le’warrah’ to get the waiting people to go behind the red line marked on the cement. He also reprimanded people whose i.d.’s were not sufficiently well looked after! It was clear that many people did not understand his slang and the commander explained by hand movements. Truth to tell, he tried to make human contact and would ask ‘is everything okay” but would do so in a harsh Israeli way.
Men leaving Nablus were made to remove belts before passing through the magnometer.
8.02 A woman arrived with a young boy, apparently her son. She had no i.d. but another document with photo. The woman military police said the son could not pass through because he had no identification. A quiet discussion between the soldier and the officer. The officer checks the details on the woman’s document and says the boy will have to bring a document of his own. The woman proceeds to Nablus, the boy turns back.
8.10 A barrow loaded with jeans at the entrance to Nablus is delayed, the jeans unloaded on to the asphalt and then returned to the barrow.
8.15 We left.
On our way to the car we were approached by a Palestinian man from Dir-Sharaf. He was sitting on the traffic island in front of the checkpoint and complained to us about the soldiers who had beaten him (lifted his shirt to show us his right side. We saw no obvious sign). When he tried to enter Nablus they would not allow him to do so. With tears in his eyes he showed us a certificate in Hebrew showing that he needed psychiatric hospitalization in 2006. Apparently his mental state is not good, there is no body looking after him and, as he says, ‘they don’t want me in Israel, nor in Palestine.’ We took his details and will try to see if we can refer him to some care.
8.32 the rolling checkpoint at 557/60 junction was still delaying movement from beit iba. We stood in the line and at 8.37 reached the soldiers. In all we waited 5 minutes –bbut it felt much longer.