Beit Iba, Jit, Shave Shomron, Mon 16.3.09, Morning
08:45 We stop by the kiosk. An army Hummer inside the village, soldiers next to it with weapons drawn, and two settlers. We slow down to see whether there’s a problem, but the village appears quiet, stores are open and things look normal. We come back this way later (after 10:00), and everything looks O.K.
Jit junction is open.
3 jeeps opposite the Qedumim industrial area, and on the way back we see a large group of soldiers “parked” there.
We arrive at the new checkpoint that’s supposed to replace the one at Beit Iba. We learned that it’s called “Barrel junction”…
08:55 There are no cars at the checkpoint; we go through toward Beit Iba but are stopped by a polite officer who explains that Israeli cars can’t go beyond this checkpoint. We ask to go through to see what’s happening at the old checkpoint and at the one at Shave Shomron; he says he’ll check with his superiors.
Meanwhile we park on the side and see that most of the taxis and trucks go through without being inspected, which of course makes things much easier for the Palestinians, but the route is so narrow and the road is such poor condition that a long line forms every time a taxis stops. A very long truck arrives, unloading more concrete barriers. Traffic stops, of course, while it’s maneuvering.
There’s a dog handler at the exit from Nablus. The dog is inspecting a car off to the side; it takes about ten minutes.
The officer returns with instructions that we can’t go through. We also get a negative answer when we call the DCO; we’re told that it’s by order of the general. Can someone determine whether the order is valid? Has the entire area from the checkpoint to Beit Iba been defined as Area A, or as a closed military area?
The checkpoint is closed from midnight to 05:00 AM; in other words, Deir Sharaf has also been included in this cage.
We saw that Israeli trucks and cars weren’t allowed to go through. There’s no doubt that the quarries and carpentry workshops will be badly affected, not to mention the kiosks and taxi drivers at the former checkpoint who’ll be put out of business.
It seems to us that, despite the huge sums that are poured out here, and the bombastic declarations about the good of the Palestinians, they haven’t thought of everything
09:35 We leave and go to Anabta.