Beit Iba, Tue 5.8.08, Morning
07.10 When we arrived there were few pedestrians in the direction of Nablus. The men were gathered at the end of the single lane and moved one by one to have their documents checked by only a single soldier. When women arrive, the men crowd together to let them pass. This strange procedure leads to everyone being pressed together – men and women. On the way out of Nablus there are few pedestrians and so this problem does not arise.
The traffic lanes are empty. From time to time a car arrives and is quickly checked. At each side there are one or two soldiers.
07.50 Gradually the number of people rises in both directions. Because only one checking lane is active, there is a bottleneck, the men are pressed back and the women have to squeeze their way past them.
After we speak with the commander and a DCO representative, a humanitarian lane is opened for seniors, women and children, checked by DCO personnel.
A new company commander arrives and wants to hear our opinions. We explain that from our previous experience, the present system for pedestrians in the direction entering Nablus is illogical. The pictures speak for themselves: people are crowded together and are delayed in a place where there is no need for delay – i.e., in the direction of Nablus. Waiting time was 13-15 minutes.
The checkpoint commander joins in checking in order to speed up the process. They are expecting the visit of the GOC shortly. We decide to wait for him but after a while we are told that his visit has been postponed. The company commander promises to report our remarks to him.
08:00 The number of cars increases. 3-5 wait in line entering Nablus but the checking is rapid.
08:30 We are approached by a father of 2 girls in need of urgent treatment at the eye hospital in Jerusalem. He was refused permission by the DCO to travel with them. We contacted Hannah B. and gave him instructions and telephone and fax numbers.
08:50 We left Beit Iba towards ‘Anabta.