Beit Iba, Mon 4.8.08, Afternoon
15:00 The road from the Hawwash Brother's carpentry shop to the checkpoint is empty. Taxis are arranged in an orderly manner by the side of the road. Little automobile traffic in either direction. There are hardly any people at the pedestrian checkpoint. Women arriving at the checkpoint from both directions pass through today without being checked.
A bus arrives from the direction of Nablus. The men are asked to get off the bus. Some ID's are taken to be checked. Eight minutes later the ID's are returned and the bus continues on its way. While the bus is being checked, a fire engine arrives from the direction of Nablus, sounding its siren. It slows as it approaches the checkpoint but the soldier waves him on and it continues toward Kusin.
15:10 A porter leads a donkey harnessed to a cart loaded with four mattresses. The soldier asks to see what's underneath them. After a short check, the porter continues.
Three officers, apparently from the Engineering Corps, are walking around the area of the checkpoint, mostly where cars are checked. They're measuring the width of the road and conferring among themselves.
15:20 One soldier remains in the booth, checking in turn those entering and those exiting through the express line. 15 minutes later another soldier comes to help.
During the hour we were at the checkpoint, there was little automobile and pedestrian traffic.
The checkpoint area is very spiffy, especially clean, apparently due to a young Palestinian man wearing a yellow vest on which is written in big letters, "Cleaning worker."