Beit Iba, Wed 17.9.08, Afternoon
Chana S. translating
14.50 Beit Iba
At the checkpoint, about 8 cars at the entrance in the direction of Nablus wait and are checked fairly quickly, all in honor of Ramadan. Also at the entrance to the checkpoint towards Dir Sharf there were a small number of cars which passed without problems. The commander Lieutenant S., administers the checkpoint politely and efficiently and the soldiers also seem calm. Two double carousels function in the shed. Passage takes 15 to 30 minutes and sometimes less. Of course the flow of women is unimpeded – all because of the holiday.
One man approached us. He was not allowed through the “humanitarian” queue although he is a nurse, while women nurses were allowed. A DCO representative explained to us that the latter were allowed because they were women.
Incidentally, the same DCO man told us that in the morning watch two of our colleagues asked if they could pass into Nablus. He explained that the relaxations were because of the holiday and were intended only for Israeli Arabs. Afterwards we learned that, in spite of this, they did make a visit to Nablus.
All this time we were busy explaining to the Italian journalist the structure of the checkpoint and its workings, and described the problems we tend to face. She was very interested and we hope this will give rise to an interesting article.
16.00 We left.