Beit Iba, Jit, Wed 27.8.08, Afternoon
On Tuesday, at Raya's request, I met at my house with Ola, a visiting journalist who's doing a report on Machsomwatch. I told her about our organization and how we work, and she asked to come with us to the checkpoint. Of course, I agreed, and she joined our shift on Wednesday.
14:10 We arrived at Qalqilya, couldn't be hotter, the parking lot was pretty full and traffic in and out of the city flowed freely. From a distance we could see the section of the road in the city that had been resurfaced.
14:25 Shvut Ami, the house is vacant and the camp across the way is growing…
14:30 Beit Iba checkpoint. The soldiers are removing the checkpoint that apparently was there a short time before we arrived. Nadim told us that there was no checkpoint in the morning. That's how they're set up and taken down from one minute to the next, and we had a chance to show Ola how the occupation works.
Incidentally – on the way we stopped at the entrance to Azzun to show Ola another example of the occupation's actions.
On the way, right at the entrance to Beit Sharaf, there was an accident between two Palestinian cars – lots of army personnel and also police, but traffic flowed.
14:50 Beit Iba, traffic in and out of the city is flowing, unless a driver shows up without the proper authorization and is sent back.
The pen is empty. About 10-20 people waiting to pass through the turnstile. We timed the wait – about 5 minutes.
The atmosphere at the checkpoint is really calm, and from time to time complaints can be heard about the ceaseless harassment because of the need to remove items of clothing and the other disgusting aspects of going through the checkpoint.
The commander, S[nir], looks calm, and remains polite, as do his soldiers. Soldiers check busses by getting on them and checking the passengers while they're inside instead of making them all get off and stand in the terrible heat. 'Isam, the DCO representative, works at his own pace.
Someone suddenly walks up holding a heavy black box that he can't open or explain what's inside, so he isn't allowed through.
We left about 16:00
REMINDER: Next Monday is the beginning of Ramadan – September 2