Beit Iba, Mon 16.3.09, Afternoon

Elisheva A. Bilha A. Yonah A.; Natanya translating

On the way to Beit Iba before the entrance to Shave Shomron we were stopped by soldiers who told us that cars with yellow number plates could no longer enter. We asked for a one time permission so as to say our farewells to Amjad who owns the kiosk next to the checkpoint of Beit Iba and after a short conversation the commander allowed us to go though on our responsibility. In the area of the checkpoint the soldiers were busy taking down what had been built only a year ago. There were many cars on the road. The kiosks had been closed and there were no pedestrians and no car stood in the parking lot.

It should be a happy occasion but both we and the Palestinians look on this with suspicion as it seems to us that at this stage there is a law of conservation of the checkpoints on the West Bank. One checkpoint is taken down and another is put up and widened at another place. One of the Palestinians told us that the checkpint at Al Badhan is again in action today and that drivers had been phoning him from the checkpoint near Deir Sharaf (which he calls the Taniv checkpoint) and told him that it takes them an hour to pass. On the way back the shift had changed and the soldiers were surprised that we had gone through but this time just scolded us.