'Anabta, Beit Iba, Tue 29.7.08, Afternoon
On the way to the checkpoint I chat with one of the kiosks’ owners. I tell him about the traffic jam at 'Anabta and about the mysterious army car there. He tells me that cab drivers have been reporting that the Israeli Secret Services have been at 'Anabta checkpoint since morning; they’re recruiting collaborators, he says. I ask him about the driver of the car, the one with Arab appearance. “Druz,” the kiosk owner determines; “or a Jew; that’s how the Secret Services always work when they recruit here; a Druz or a Jew – one who speaks Arabic better than myself,” he smiles, “runs the ‘interviews,’” he explains.
The kiosk owner continues to tell me that tomorrow is a holiday, and so all the students are returning home; all afternoon there’s been a high volume of pedestrians leaving Nablus at this checkpoint.
Indeed, when we arrive at the checkpoint a young man tells us that he waited for two hours in line. In the detainees’ enclosure there are 7 detainees; all tried to play hide and seek with the soldiers in the fields by the roadblock. The checkpoint commander this afternoon is very serious and disciplined – no games with him; you tried to bypass the checkpoint and now you’re punished: two hours detention and then back to the end of the queue. But by now the queue is shorter. Five of the seven detainees are released at 16:25 and returned to the end of the line; at 16:25 they cross the checkpoint on their way to Tulkarem.
Meanwhile Yael chats with the DCO representative; they discuss the dearth of traffic at the vehicle checkpoint of Beit Iba. It turns out that only 125 cars of all cars registered in Nablus (thousands we guess) have permits to pass through the Beit Iba checkpoint. No problems then, at the vehicle crossing of Beit Iba roadblock, because there are almost no vehicles to cross…
We leave the checkpoint.