Beit Iba, Qalqiliya, Shave Shomron, Wed 11.3.09, Afternoon
Most importantly: The Beit Iba checkpoint commander informed us that effective Sunday (15.3.09) this checkpoint would be annulled! Passages would be open for those coming and going without the presence of soldiers. It is unclear as to why now? What has changed comparing to previous years? and what about security?..... and since nothing has really changed, one can't help wonder when this question would come up: What was the reason for all that misery and humiliation, blockage of life avenues for the people of Nablus for years ? All of a sudden it turns out that it was in vain......
In contrast to the above, not too far from there,the main road at the road block near contras Shomron was enlarged: The tower was removed to the side of the road, two lanes of traffic were opened, with a divider in the middle. There are also two yellow gates ready for action. This checkpoint would control vehicles and its passengers. It is not meant for pedestrians, because only vehicles drive through it, cars, taxis, busses and heavy trucks. At this time it is still unknown as to how and when this will be operational (roomer says that the gates would close for the night and would open only for emergency calls to the DCO).
15:40 - Qalqilya checkpoint- There are 13 cars at the entrance to the checkpoint, but the line keeps moving. The car park area is full of cabs awaiting passengers who hardly arrive.at the exit - traffic streams along.
16:15 At the road block by Shave Shomron at the road leading to Beit Iba a divider was placed thus creating two lanes.The tower was removed from the road to the side.
16:25 At the entrance there is only one lane for vehicles, only the side for transferring parcels. Every car is inspected.There is hardly any line due to the swift, efficient inspection. The inspectors are the commander and two soldiers. The usual lane into the entrance is, for some reason, is vacant. At the pedestrians checkpoint, the humanitarian line streams along.Under the shed there is an unusual large number of people, about 60. There is no military police, only one soldier does the inspection without the defense's of a soldier at his side. inspection is only through the one magnometer.It turns out that there has been a warning for violence, hence the changes. Only 15 minutes ago inspection was as usual.
16:35 - The commander arrives at the pedestrians post from the vehicles' inspection post. He assists wherever there is a delayed line, performs his duty well. due to his help the number of people waiting in the shed decreases.
16:50 There is another inspector at the Magnometer and at the shed that was occupied one third of its capacity - there is now a significant improvement.In talking with the commander we learn that at Hawarra, a Kalachnikuve rifle was found and that had caused the warning. Now all is back to normal. His battalion is "Lavi" of the "Kfir" brigade. in the end he informs us of the big news: Effective Sunday 15.3.09 the Beit Iba checkpoint is annulled!The building would stay but traffic would stream along on both direction.
16:55 We leave. We speak with Amjad (from the kiosk) , who is unclear as to what would be his livelihood from now on. He rolls his eyes upwards, Insha'alla