Beit Iba, Mon 15.9.08, Afternoon
15.00 Two elderly detainees in the shed. The checkpoint commander came to greet us. In answer to our questions he explained that one of the detainees was from Gaza and the other from Jaffa. They were caught driving a car on a forbidden route – which they apparently did not know. They would be released within an hour. A few youths exited Nablus , passing the carousels, removing belts, emptying pockets, removing shoes and passing the manometer. Women, children, older folk and people with special permits pass in the quick line, on the whole without checking. Occasionally the soldier asks to see a document. Also those entering Nablus pass without delay and generally without checking.
At the car checkpoint there are no detainees. A number of busses leave Nablus, full of passengers, and pass the checkpoint after the soldier has checked the driver’s document.
It is a particularly hot and humid day.
Apart from the checkpoint commander, the DCO, soldiers of the shift and military police, there is also a ‘deputation’ of the IDF spokesman: an officer, a woman soldier and an additional soldier, being photographed and photographing at various spots at the checkpoint. The officer approached us to greet us and told the checkpoint commander to give us cold water to drink.
15.50 The two detainees were released and got in their car that had been parked on the side of the road and drove towards Nablus.