Beit Iba, Jit, Mon 17.11.08, Afternoon
15:00 An APC is parked at the intersection of Road 57. The soldiers sit inside, eating. We turn toward Deir Sharaf. The APC was still in the same place when we returned from Beit Iba an hour later.
15:10 A thorough inspection of all private cars, taxis and buses entering Nablus. Passengers get out to be checked and are ordered to form a straight line. Documents are inspected, purses and packages emptied out, and the men are checked using the “dance” procedure: lift their shirts and turn around, and pull their pants cuffs up toward the knee. The trunk is checked and sometimes the hood is also lifted. In an unusual move, the soldier who was checking pulled two older men out of the line of passengers, examined their documents and signaled them to get on the bus.
15:20 A young man and woman try to go through the humanitarian lane. The soldier tells the woman to go through, and tells the man who says he’s accompanying his sister to go back to the line and go through the magnemometer. For some reason he’s sent to the detention pen. We try to find out why from Sergeant N., the checkpoint commander, but N. would rather lecture us and explain why our presence at the checkpoint bothers the soldiers. At the end of the discussion he promises to find out the reason for the detention and release the young man.
The soldier checking people leaving Nablus through the lane off to one side makes sure than no men younger than 45 go through there. He inspects every purse and every bag, even if it’s a heavy bag carried by an elderly woman.
An Israeli citizen wearing a yarmulke comes to the booth looking for the checkpoint commander. He seems to have carried out some maintenance work and needs the commander’s signature, who arrives and, after a warm welcome – “What’s up, soulmate? Everythink OK, bro’?” – immediately signs.
16:30 A temporary checkpoint at Jit junction. Seven cars on line from the east.
16:45 Many soldiers at the eastern entrance to the village of Funduk . Military vehicles parked on both sides of the road, and the soldiers are standing next to them with weapons drawn. All the stores are closed, their doors locked. Few Palestinians in the streets, some of whom are returning from work.
In the afternoon we heard that an Israeli citizen was moderately injured here during an attempt by a Palestinian to steal his car. The radio reported that he came to the village to shop and was shot by the car thieves.