Ar-Ras, Azzun, Beit Iba, Jit, Mon 14.1.08, Afternoon
Beit Iba, 14.55 We arrive at the parking lot and go to the checkpoint. The fence which separates the road from the pedestrians almost reaches the kiosk now. The buses stand at the side waiting for the young people to come through the checking area. The renovations continue. The DCO representative shows us with pride the electric checkpoint for cars which will be like that of the malls he says and takes us on a tour of the electric installations and the computers. One of the soldiers expresses his amazement at the amount of money which is being wasted on such a massive installation. In the meantime the passage between the two turnstiles is slow. Each time a button is pressed two young people come through. Each time they go through the magnometer it squeaks and they have to go back taking everything out of their pockets. Humiliating. At the side the men over 45 and women and children go through and sometimes younger people are sent through thus dividing families. The older people then have to wait a long time for the younger members. Who can pass on the side?. The commander says judges, doctors, teachers and lawyers even if they are younger. When there is great pressure younger men are allowed to pass at the side.
We see two detainees in the enclosure. The DCO representative finds out that they were found in the fields and at 15.15 frees them. The one who was a porter whom Elisheva knew says he was detained for 4 hours. Now the soldier brings two older Palestinians to the enclosure. They were also found crossing through the fields. Shortly after that the commander comes leading an elderly man of about 50 to the enclosure saying he will keep him there for 4 hours. Elisheva speaks to the centre and they say they will try to deal with this.
15.30 In site of the magnometer a young Palestinians who has a suitcase and some parcels has to open the suitcase and take everything out and also the plates and cups from the packages. Those entering Nablus are not checked. Two young men accompanying their mother pass on the side. One gets permission to do so but the other has to go into the ordinary line. The captain makes no distinctions. He is even prepared to go back a long way so as to bring back anyone who has tried to slip through. Let them sit in the enclosure and learn a lesson. Elisheva again phones the centre about the possibility of these people being freed and they say they will deal with it and at 16.30 when she phones those detained they say they have been freed.
16.45 Jit is empty and also the entrance to Azzun is open.