'Anabta, Beit Iba, Wed 10.12.08, Afternoon
Beit Iba, 14.40 On the way to the checkpoint we passed Qalqiliya. The changing of guard there caused a long queue but the queue vanished immediately after the new team was in place.
14.50 Azzun. In Azzun on the hill we saw an army watchtower (was this here previously?) After another 2 km, on the other side of the road, another watchtower. From the road to Havat Gil’ad an army car exited with two security personnel.
15.15 Shavei Shomron. I photographed the new checkpoint that is said to replace the Beit Iba checkpoint.
15.35 Beit Iba. In honour of the Eid there are strange relaxations of rules. Apparently no fear of attacks.There is no line of cars at the entrance and there is a constant flow of traffic. Cars enter Nablus without checking. Busses from Tulkarm enter Nablus for family visits without checking.On the way out of Nablus all cars are checked. There are two lanes and the line is short. Israeli cars exiting Nablus have only IDs checked. Pedestrians exiting, festively dressed, are checked at random. 15.40 Now an Israeli car exiting Nablus is thoroughly checked, including the trunk, but the passengers remain in the car.In the humanitarian line a man passes with all his womenfolk, but only he has his ID checked – they pass freely. When the commander approaches the humanitarian line he stands so that they will pass him one by one and he checks the women’s IDs.In the shed there are very few people; nevertheless two carousels are working. Everyone is carefully checked, but without delays.It should be pointed out that the commander is alert to everything that is happening and goes from position to position. Everything ‘works’.
16.00 We part politely from the commander and soldiers and leave.On the way we are approached by a man (with wife and child) who asks us to give regards to his old boss in a furniture shop in Herzl Street. We will of course do so. He worked for him 11 years as an upholsterer, until 2000. He mentioned that he had 3 wives. Only one has remained (the one with him). One left him, he left the other…Later we met students studying in Tulkarm who were coming to visit students in Nablus. People are in a good mood today.
16.10 We continue to Anabta.