Beit Iba, Thu 2.10.08, Morning

Observers: 
Rachel A., Tom K., Moran A. Translator: Charles K.
02/10/2008
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Morning

Beit Iba, 2.10.08, Thursday morning

The morning was characterized by very light traffic at the checkpoints, both pedestrians and cars.

6:50  Ha-Perot Gate – no people going through.

6:55  A traffic jam at the entrance to Azzun.  It turns out that the road is blocked by settlers from the localities in the area (Karnei Shomron, Ma’aleh Shomron).  They’re calling the roadblock a “cultured protest” (some, of course, are armed with rifles, some with telescopic sights) – they came with their cars to the entrance of the village to protest rock-throwing last night.  They say that a boy was injured by one of the rocks.  One of them told us that the “protest” will break up in a few minutes.  A policeman is writing tickets for the cars blocking the road.  From afar, we see soldiers standing in the village and preventing a man with a cart from entering.  We drive to the entrance and meet other soldiers, who tell us that the village has been under curfew since last night, and ask us not to enter, even through about a minute earlier we notice relatively young settlers leaving the village.  When we asked the soldiers about them they told us that they had entered about an hour ago, that they also were not allowed to enter, but “we couldn’t stop them.”  They claimed that nothing happened in the village.  They also said that there’s an army unit, commanded by a more senior officer, stationed in the village center, and that they don’t know about any Palestinian casualties in the village.
After the “protest” breaks up, we continue on our way.

7:45  Beit Iba – almost no one going through.  The taxi drivers tell us that today’s the last day of the holiday (Ramadan).  They also tell us that last night, there was a traffic jam two kilometers long leaving Tulkarm, all the way to Anabtra, that lasted till late at night.  They said the soldiers took about 15 minutes to check each care, and traffic moved very slowly.
The checkpoint commander told us that today there’s no curfew, and the very light traffic is because of the holiday.

8:20 – We leave Beit Iba.