Beit Iba, Shave Shomron, Sat 23.8.08, Morning
We left Jerusalem at 6:00 and returned at 13:00.
Atara: Reservists on duty. Traffic very light at this early hour of the morning. No one is checked. The soldiers came over to us, and we started talking. It turns out that they also talk about what affect standing at the checkpoint will have on the soldiers. One of them, who lives in Sderot, tried very hard to convince us that the occupation is necessary. We found it hard to be convinced.
Za'tara: We didn't stop because there was no line in either direction.
Shavei Shomron and Beit Iba: The "Ganot" checkpoint (where did that strange name suddenly come from?) is open, and there aren't any soldiers there. Free passage. Little traffic at Beit Iba. We stood on the empty lot beyond the checkpoint, and soldiers "concerned about our safety" appeared very quickly, and asked us to move. We politely refused. The checkpoint commander, a 2nd lieutenant, appeared, and explained that "there are no more Area A and B and C." Interesting…We didn't get involved in a pointless argument and moved to the edge of the lot – it wasn't clear why we would be more "secure" over there – but there wasn't any reason for a fruitless argument.