Beit Iba, Sun 31.8.08, Afternoon

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Observers: 
Ruthi, Aliah (reporting); Translator: Charles K.
Aug-31-2008
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Afternoon

14:30:  The checkpoint commander said "shalom" nicely to us.  All the soldiers were polite to us, but didn't talk to us.  In general, the checkpoint operated quietly and in a businesslike manner.  None of the pedestrian lines were long; it took people entering and leaving Nablus an average of ten minute to go through the checkpoint.  All the women and elderly men went through the humanitarian lane relatively quickly, with a minimum of checking.  The vehicle lines were also relatively short, and they were checked quickly.  Two men were detained for interrogation - the soldiers told us that they'll be checked and released.

The male soldiers were neatly dressed, and behaved properly;  but we couldn't help noting the sloppy appearance of the single female soldier on duty:  she's tall and fairly heavy, and her low-riding pants almost completely exposed the curve of her behind (even though her shirt covered her underpants).  I'm not conservative, but it wasn't a pleasant sight.  The military webbing she had on was overloaded, and she had a heavy load on her back.  Despite all this, she behaved quietly and in a businesslike manner.

14:50:  Three high-ranking officers (each with a star on his shoulder) came to see the checkpoint.  Two carried guns, but the third was unarmed, no helmet or flak jacket.  The two others showed gave him a thorough tour of the checkpoint, and he looked satisfied with what he saw.

15:30:  The checkpoint operated so smoothly that we felt we weren't needed there, so we left.