Beit Iba, Sun 15.2.09, Morning
7.40 Beit Iba
Exiting Nablus, a long line
of cars. Apparently a traffic jam prevents cars from using both checking
lanes. After 15 minutes this problem is resolved.
A line of about 40 men waiting
behind the one carousel that was working. According to the commander
(N.) the other was out of order since that morning and they were allowing
the men through two at a time so as not to cause delay. The friendly
commander described the “easings’ that were given. Yesterday
there were no detainees and all cars entered and exited without checking.
Family men were allowed to use the humanitarian gate with their women
and children. No checking of loads. Is there really a change?
Pedestrians entering Nablus
are not checked.
We went to a café. On
our return 6 minutes later…
Many pedestrians, a soldier
is checking i.d.,s and in the shed there are 20 student detainees!
When the commander who was busy checking i.d’s passed us, we asked
about this. He said ‘it’s not connected to the machsom.
It’s intervention by someone outside!!’ So, suddenly a quiet
machsom became tense and oppressive. The students waited patiently
10-15 minutes till their i.d.’s were returned. We estimate that
about 50 students were thus detained. Apparently a number of buses from
Tulkarm arrived at once and this was not prearranged, according to N.
8.40 The checkpoint
returned to it routine, with few people. Exiting Nablus, in the shed
were three men detainees who were released after 15 minutes.
8.50 We went again to
see the car lanes. Entering Nablus, a car driven by a young man
with two companions, was stopped by soldiers, I’d.’s checked, the
passengers taken out and checked.. Some ‘easing!’
We continued to Anabta.
The route was a mass of flowers – what a contrast to the machsomim.