Beit Iba, Wed 21.1.09, Morning

Observers: 
Miki P., Tom K. Trans. Judith G.
Jan-21-2009
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Morning

Beit Iba
Two lanes are open at the exit, but it seems that only one is working at a time.

7:25

Vehicles enter Nablus with no problem.  6 vehicles at the exit, on lane is open in each direction.  The vehicles which are leaving are swiftly inspected.  However, the taxi driver going out tells us that he waited for an hour in a line of 5 vehicles.
No people at all.  The taxi drivers were "educated" to stand outside the broad area of the checkpoint.  Pedestrians enter freely.
A young man is in the detention area.  We can't find the DCO rep at the checkpoint, so we call and they claim that there is someone here, but they will check again.

7:40

In spite of a line of vehicles, the two lanes are not open because the soldiers are speaking with the soldier on inspection in the humanitarian line.  5 minutes later, they come back to the vehicles' checkpoint.  Miki asks where S., the DCO rep., is, but they ignore us.

7:50

The soldier responsible for the humanitarian passage, who previously shouted at us rudely to stand in our corner, sings and makes noises loudly, imitates ambulance sirens, metal detectors, police cars and amuses his comrades.
The vehicle line increases and grows until you can't see the end.  For more than 5 minutes they have not let through a single vehicle.  Miki counts about 20 vehicles.
8:00

The DCO rep appears, without the arm band of the DCO.  The detainee is a "bingo".  He has been kept for more than 45 minutes already.  The DCO rep explains that, in general, the exit from Nablus has only one lane for "regular" vehicles and another fast lane only for urgent humanitarian use (ambulances, etc.).  No point in opening another lane, since the line "isn't terrible" in his opinion.
After the DCO rep finishes his explanation for us about the laws of the checkpoints, we notice that an ambulance has been waiting for quarter of an hour behind the cars in the humanitarian line and then went through a thorough inspection in 7 minutes.
8:10

The loud soldier continues his acting out.
Again, they are not letting through vehicles in one of the lanes and only one lane is operative.  A few minutes later, they start using both lanes again