Beit Iba, Wed 16.7.08, Afternoon
15:00 The checkpoint area is pretty empty. Many taxis waiting for passengers, and people are flowing out of the pedestrian checkpoints.The vehicle checkpoint is quiet; there's hardly a line either going in or coming out, there's no dog handler or dog, just the Palestinians, the army and us standing in this heat.
A man who lives in Tulkarm approaches us. He works in the hospital in Ramallah, and a while ago the GSS (Shabak) ordered his magnetic card to be confiscated. Since we didn't have Sylvia's address we gave him our card.
It takes only a few minutes to pass through the four turnstiles while still undergoing all the checks, removing shoes, belts and all the insulting routine , and then, of course, having to get dressed again in front of everyone while the soldiers urge them to hurry and leave the checkpoint area…
Almost no one is being checked in the lane for women and special cases.
15:15 Two older men who tried to bypass the checkpoint are put in the pen. They'll be released after being checked.
Tomer, the DCO representative, is very helpful, goes back and forth among the inspection booths, also answers questions. N., the commander, does his work quietly and doesn't talk to us very much.
We had quite a job explaining to our guest how this intimidating checkpoint was organized and operated.
We left at 16:15.