Beit Iba, Tue 16.9.08, Afternoon
13:30 - Beit Iba
About thirty people are waiting in the shed. There's one queue in addition to the one for women and the elderly. As the crowding intensified another was opened. Only those leaving Nablus were checked. Several veiled women and a few arbitrarily selected ones were removed for a closer examination by a woman soldier (with due civility).
14:15 - About seventy people waiting. The crowding grew worse every so often and a second queue for youth was opened accordingly.
Most of the time the checkpoint commander and the regional military police commander were at hand. Later, regional commander captain A' appeared as well.
In reply to our questions we were told that at this time of Ramadan and the fast the soldiers were directed to be milder and more tolerant, and so they were. The atmosphere at the checkpoint was calm and more considerate. The presence of the command may have had a moderating effect. We thought the Itzhar events of the last few days may have caused the commanders to express expectation of a more mindful and humane behaviour. They were very civil towards us as well.