Beit Iba, Wed 30.7.08, Afternoon
At the entrance to the checkpoint there are no cars. Suddenly, all at once, a line forms of about 7 huge vehicles, at the front of the line is an UN vehicle. There are 4 tracks at the vehicles checkpoint: two for entering and two for leaving. At the entrance - one for inspection of wagons loaded with merchandise, and the second for checking cars. At the exit - one for cars and one for buses.
16:25 Pedestrian checkpoint - about 12 people, but the line moves quickly. At the exit - the shed is practically empty. An empty bus arrives from Nablus for inspection. The driver gives his documents and continues on his way. A midibus full of people - only the ID of the driver is checked. The humanitarian line is short and efficient. I count how many soldiers are at the almost empty checkpoint. 11 soldiers, including the DCO man. Next to the checkpoint there is a house, and we see a horse in its courtyard. And a man washing him with a hose. the closing of a circle with the story of the horse at the A-Ras checkpoint.
On the road from Kuchin leading to the checkpoint a "Back to Back" operation is underway: a cart full of merchandise from the checkpoint brings its contents to a van which takes everything up the hill to Kuchin. We begin to wander in the direction of our cars. We check what is happening in the vehicles line coming out of Nablus. Almost no vehicles. We continue to walk when a taxi driver from Kuchin stops us. Every morning, he brings workers from Kuchin to Israel. In order to get to work in Israel they have to get up at 05:00, but the checkpoint isn't open on time! The driver brings them to Qalqilya and/or Tulkarm. If they arrive late, the "boss" in Israel doesn't wait for them; in that case, he has to return all the workers back home. They all lose a day of work plus the cost of the trip. His request: can we help in getting the checkpoint to open at exactly 05:00, when it is supposed to open.
17:00 We leave, but not before we buy cassata at the kiosk of Amjad Katane for one shekel.