Beit Iba, Shave Shomron, Wed 4.3.09, Afternoon

Sarah P., Hamdan, the nice driver, Tami C. Translator: Charles K.

Beit Iba

On the way to Beit Iba we passed the checkpoint that’s been dismantled
almost completely [the two yellow barrier arms are still ready to be closed and
there are still some concrete cubes].  From there we went up to visit the Shave
Shomron checkpoint; the soldiers are relaxed and traffic is flowing.  We met
people who had come from Ramallah and gone through three checkpoints on the way
– this is the fourth.  They asked “why?”, and we could only agree.

 15:30  Beit Iba. 

The flood damage is still visible, but the checkpoint
looks clean and traffic flows.  The important point is that very few people are
going through both on foot and in cars, so they go through relatively quickly. 
It’s been like this for a few weeks, but we don’t know why.  Ten cars waited in
two lines at the entrance to Deir Sharaf; most went through without being
inspected.  One was the humanitarian and VIP line, and the other for ordinary
citizens.  Since there were only about 10-20 people waiting in the shed the
whole time we were there, it also only took a few minutes for people to go
through on foot.  They’re used to the process and get ready [removing belts and
anything that would make the magnemometer beep, placing it all near the window,
handing over ID, getting it back and going out to get dressed again]. 
Occasionally ID numbers were checked against lists held by the soldiers, but
Bashir, the efficient DCO representative, solved the problems.  There were
still cars that weren’t allowed to enter Deir Sharaf.  There were no
restrictions on people leaving, neither in cars or on foot.

Bashir, the DCO representative, who was on a lunch break when we
arrived, returned not long afterwards, came over to us immediately and asked
whether we needed any help.

Sarah asked a soldier who passed by and stopped whether he knew who we
are, and he replied, without hesitation, “The ones who make it hard for us to
do our job.”  We asked whether we actually got in his way, to which he replied,
not you, others yes.  So, OK, as of today we’ve got a new name.

16:30  We left the checkpoint.