Beit Iba, Wed 6.8.08, Morning
Summary: Easing up can be deceiving.
07:50 – 09:40
There are two lanes for vehicles leaving Nablus, one of them the humanitarian lane. This humanitarian gesture is, of course, a trick, since only few are permitted to enter or leave the city in a vehicle, and car traffic in both directions is desperately sparse. The dog handlers aren't working at the moment; only documents are checked.
We have trouble understanding the procedure regarding buses entering Nablus: the men riding on one bus don't have to get off, but those on the next, do. We thought it might depend on where the bus came from, but according to the DCO representative, that's not the case. He said that the soldiers are supposed to ask the men to get off, but instead of having them go through the pedestrian lane, as in the past, they're supposed to check them while they're standing near the bus. He said that only a sample of people entering Nablus on foot are supposed to be checked, but as far as we can see, all the men younger than 50 are included in the sample. We should note that the person doing the checking speaks Arabic.
The inspection of people leaving the city is as rigorous as usual.
No detainees in the shed. The soldiers don't shout or curse. The water faucet has been fixed.
Something unusual occurred: No Palestinian came over to ask for our help.