Beit Iba, Tue 27.1.09, Afternoon
15:45 Beit Iba. Empty. No cars. The pedestrian checkpoint is also almost empty. The soldier says than half an hour ago it was full. We asked the commander, who didn't understand why she said what she did...
The humanitarian lane is flowing freely.
The DCO representative is here, but we don't see him.
We met students who told us the semester has begun. We see women in the humanitarian lane carrying books and notebooks, but not many. The same with respect to men.
The atmosphere is quiet. The checkpoint commander is welcoming, wants to talk to us, even though his views are very right-wing. I "earned" his respect when he found out my son was a navigator in a Phantom. He wanted to know what my son thought about my activities, and I said that he's proud of me. The commander listened...
Cars leaving Nablus are inspected, but not rigorously. The soldiers are mainly checking ID's.
A soldier brought someone who tried to bypass the checkpoint, but the commander just checked his ID and released him. We praised him for it. He said that his battalion - Shimshon - finishes its deployment here on Monday, and then the Nachshon battalion arrives.
16:30 The number of people has increased slightly, so they open the second turnstile. The humanitarian lane flows freely.
16:40 Salah - the DCO representative - comes over to say hello. We said goodbye to him and to the commander, and left.
On our way out we met two veterinary students. They live in Qalqilya, take the theory courses in Al Najah University in Nablus. They do their practicum on a farm in Tulkarm belonging to Al Najah. (That's interesting.)