Beit Iba, Jit, Shave Shomron, Thu 21.8.08, Morning
07:30 Jabara – Children's gate:
Two donkey carts and seven laborers waiting in line to enter the village. When we returned ten minutes later they had already gone through.
Six vehicles on line from Tulkarm.
On the road from Jabara to 'Anabta the police have set up an unannounced checkpoint.
08:00 'Anabta checkpoint
Two lanes open, one in each direction. Three vehicles on line, almost every one goes through without being checked. At 08:17 we continued to Beit Iba.
At the café we speak to a taxi driver who reports that the checkpoint at Shavei Shomron was opened only for an antiquities festival at the entrance to Sabastiya, which many tourists attend, and that on 28.8 it will again be closed. He says the checkpoint forces drivers to bypass it on dirt roads. If the army catches a driver, a soldier will lock the car, take the keys, and leave the drive to wait in the son, sometimes for an entire day.
Another driver reports that the day before yesterday he took a 55 year old man to Sabastiya with the army's permission via Shavei Shomron. On their way back there was a long line of vehicles there, and the soldiers didn't let them through (after they had already waited in line). The passage from Jenin to Beit Iba was open, the entry to Sabastiya was open, but it wasn't possible to leave Sabastiya from there. When he asked the soldiers why he can't leave, they blindfolded him, cursed him, he cursed back and they tried to hit him. The taxi driver called the police, who came from Shavei Shomron, and he and his friend eventually went through.
One detainee at the checkpoint (a "bingo"), a student who lives in Tulkarm and has been detained (according to the DCO representative) since 08:00. The guy said that the same thing keeps happening: he's detained for a few hours at the checkpoint, then released until the next time. The checkpoint commander says he'll apparently be released after he gets the information about his ID number. If the detainee "annoys or curses" him, he won't release him. We tried to talk to the humanitarian center and see if the "examination" could be speeded up, but without success. The humanitarian center referred us to the DCO representative, who said the GSS was responsible for the delay.
About 10 men on line to enter Nablus. The ID cards of those entering and exiting are checked against a list. Two vehicle lanes are open, one in each direction. A dog handler checks some of the vehicles with the dog; it takes about 20 minutes to check a vehicle.
There's a porter at the checkpoint carrying sacks back and forth. The DCO representative says that there isn't always a dog on site, usually only in the early morning and in the afternoon, when its not so hot.
The detainee still hadn't been released when we left the checkpoint. Later we were able to speak to him on the phone (after about an hour), but we weren't able to understand exactly when he'd been released.
09:45 Jit junction – not manned.