Beit Iba, Shave Shomron, Wed 15.10.08, Afternoon
The occupation routine goes on. Other than the few people going through, the checkpoints are still the same, and the soldiers are still the same…
14:00 On the way to Beit Iba we only go past Qalqilya. A short line of cars at the entrance, but the traffic is flowing.
14:10 Azzun – open.
14:20 The “Shvut Ami” house is empty, as is the settlers’ camp across the road.
14:50 The Shavei Shomron checkpoint is open. According to the soldiers, it’s open from 06:00 to 18:00.
14:45 Beit Iba. 7 huge cars at the entrance, but they go through without delay. There’s also no line leaving.
14:50 The pedestrian checkpoint is almost empty. We meet Assaf, the commander we know from previous shifts. The magnamometer check is rigorous: belt, shoes, documents and belongings.
Women in the humanitarian lane go through without inspection. The men are checked.
Almost no people on line to enter Nablus. Those few aren’t checked.
Much bus traffic. Each bus is stopped, the passengers’ ID’s are checked, and it immediately continues, in two minutes.
15:25 A young man with 5 large packages arrives at the humanitarian lane. The soldier checks them superficially, motions to him to return to the regular line, but as he is collecting his bundles – the soldier changes his mind and lets him go through (that also happens).
The commander turns out not to be an “extremist” but, nevertheless, when a young man stops at the beginning of the shed (that leads out of the checkpoint) to put his belt and shoes back on, the commander motions to him to continue walking without stopping. The Palestinian asks, “Why?” The answer: “Go, go,” motioning him to get dressed farther away. The Palestinian replies, “In a minute,” and continues dressing. The commander keeps motioning him to move away, and both keep doing what they’re doing until the Palestinian finishes, and goes on his way. (He behaved in a pretty brave and honorable way). The question, “Why,” didn’t even get an answer. Why what?
16:00 Traffic is so light at the checkpoint, and the soldiers so bored, that we decided to leave.