Beit Iba, Jit, Shave Shomron, יום ד' 10.9.08, בוקר

Edna R., Rina Z.,Chana S translating
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Summary: Relaxation of movement in honour of Ramadan is infringed by commander of checkpoint.  Two days previously a soldier beat a detainee and it was only the intervention of the DCO  representative that stopped the violence.
Route 60 that was opened to traffic next to Shavei Shomron was closed every day from 18.00 till 6.00 a.m. Inhabitants of Nekorah, neighbouring Shavei Shomron, are restricted as to movement and as to permission to build on their own areas overlooking the settlement.

7.35-9.05 Beit Iba .
When we arrived the checkpoint was empty. A few pedestrians passed to Nablus without checking.  The checkpoint commander S. received us and invited us to a political debate.
8.0As the time for university classes approached and the first wave of students arrived, he made them stand beyond the red line, 2-3 meters from the checking point and began to check  each one against a list.  We told him that during Ramadan those entering Nablus were to be only randomly checked. He said that, as commander, he was the one to decide. We phoned the Moked. The DCO representative, A., contacted his officers and apparently it was thanks to his intervention that  a change was brought about.
8.15About 40-50 men in line.  As there was only one lane, when women and aged people arrive, they pass through this line without checking, while the checking of the young folk stops.  By this time there are 3 checkers but the line gets no shorter.
8.20 The commander received a telephone call. Everyone in the line passes quickly without checking, apart from 2 or 3 ‘randomly.’
8.25  A new wave arrives.  The soldier is confused whether to check each one, or randomly.  The officer arrives – the checking is to be random.
Buses in both directions pass without the passengers having to descend and the checking is swift.
A, the DCO representative, tells us that the new commander of DCO Nablus, Fars, works diligently to prevent harming Palestinians at the checkpoints.
Two days previously a soldier mistreated a detainee in the shed.  First he cursed him and then hit him, all without provocation.  When A objected to the commander the latter reprimanded the soldier but did not transfer him from his place and he continued this behaviour.  When A. contacted his commander at the DCO, the matter was referred to the brigade.  He does not know what happened to the soldier.

Shevut Ami.  Nothing new.  The building is abandoned.  The ‘camp’ across the road is as usual. When we passed they had not yet woken up.
Jit.  No checkpoint.
Shavei Shomron.  Route 60 open, no checkpoint.
Sebastia and Nekora.  We went in to look. Attractive and economically sound villages. Many fine villas built by inhabitants who had worked mainly in the Gulf and in Saudi Arabia and also by those working in Israel.  Inhabitants of these two villages, together with all the inhabitants north or them have suffered for years from Shavei Shomron.  First of all the main road that joins all the parts of the W. Bank – route 60 – was closed to them for 2 years.  It was opened 3 weeks ago, but only between the hours 6 -18.00. A driver who arrived 3 minutes after 6 p.m. was sent back by soldiers.  That is, instead of a 3 kilometer journey, a journey of tens of kilometers via Ein Bidan.  Thus a settlement of less than 650 inhabitants disrupts the lives of 250, 000 inhabitants of the Jenin area, plus the villages north of Nablus.  In Nekora overlooking the settlement, traffic exiting to route 60 is blocked and they have to go via Sebastia, and in all the village’s lands opposite the settlement, building is forbidden.