Beit Iba, Wed 29.10.08, Afternoon
14.50 No cars entering, 5 exiting.
At the pedestrian checkpoint, the shed is half-full, 2 carousels functioning. ID’s are checked.
Two people are detained because of their ID numbers, which are being checked.
The humanitarian line flows quickly.
A bus waits while its passengers are checked. A military policewoman, stands with all the ID’s in her hand, arguing with a Palestinian who is holding his ID. He wants to enter Nablus in his car, but is not allowed to do so. They stand and argue – meanwhile the bus waits… In the end she sends him to the DCO man (Tomer), returns the ID's to the bus- driver and the bus is released. Tomer, together with the commander, approaches to examine the problem of the driver who was refused entry to Nablus. Meanwhile, of course, a queue of cars builds up. (Every enquiry seems to be at the expense of others waiting in line, while it would be logical to move the problem cars aside and let the others pass). After the driver doesn’t give in, he and his car pass through. Strange – what was the argument that stole so much time and nerves of everyone (the car owner, the bus passengers, the DCO man, the commander?
15.05 The detainees are released.
It takes 10 minutes for each person in the shed to reach checking. Then the ceremony begins: taking off the belt, coat, sometimes shoes. Because of the rain there are puddles and removing shoes entails some steps in mud. Not terrible, only a few steps…
We discover a Palestinian invention to avoid removing belt: a buckle that comes apart – one can remove it and replace it on the belt without having to remove the belt itself. We thought we should suggest that the inventor take out a patent and start selling the device.
Perhaps during the winter someone will invent also plastic socks so that one could remove shoes without dirtying ones socks in mud.
15.35 Detainees because of ID’s. They are released after a short while.
15.45 a mother and her son (a youth) in the humanitarian line. The son – no longer a child, but not yet a senior – is sent to the line in the shed. The mother is to wait for him to reach his turn.
A bus arrives. A Palestinian has to get off and is sent back to Nablus because he has not brought his ID with him
16.00 We leave.