Sun 12.10.08, Afternoon

Susan L., Alix KW (Reporting)
Ramadan Events reported from Habla

Incidents that occurred towards the end of Ramadan this year and were  related to us from the Palestinians who actually experienced the  events.

One incident that we heard about was of H. who passes everyday to get to work at the nursery just outside of the gate at Habla, which is a seam line village. As usual in the morning he approached the gate to cross, recognizing the soldiers on duty; he searches for his ID and sees that he doesn't have it on him. Pleading with the soldiers to let him pass to go to work, they refused, although they said that they know him.

The second incident was with O., the nursery owner near the gate of  Habla. The Friday night before the end of Ramadan, at midnight he arrived at Beit Iba to enter Nablus, he was driving a car of a woman  friend who was in the car, also with his wife and another woman. It was late at night and the woman felt more comfortable with O. driving. As they approached the checkpoint at Beit Iba the soldier asked for the papers, O. gave him the proper papers and authorization to pass, the soldiers began harassing him, inquiring why he was driving. O. asked if it is unlawful for him to be driving someone else's car. He explained that he was assisting her, because she felt uneasy driving at that time of night.

O. tried to talk (he speaks and understands quite good Hebrew) to them and find out why they were being aggressive and cruel with him.  As he spoke to them they became more hostile and belligerent. They required O. to open the boot where there were bags of clothing and personal items. The soldiers threw the personal items out of the bags on the road. They called over the dog to sniff through the belongings. O. requested that they check the things and not let the dog sniff through the personal belongings (under garments). The soldiers didn't relate to O.'s request, when they told him to put the belongings back, he started to put in the bags, but the soldiers just said to throw them in the boot.

They were allowed to pass, after and hour and half of being embarrassed, humiliated, and harassed.