Beit Iba, Mon 18.2.08, Afternoon
Trans. Judith Green
Very cold. One turnstile is operating. Very crowded in the humanitarian line.
The checkpoint commander, A., asks about the structure of our organization and how there could be so many volunteers and no director? Are the reports which he reads on the website inserted as they are, without any editing? Since we had this conversation, I asked him innocently whether he knew if the water drain was being taken care of at the exit passageway. The answer: "What, after all that they invested here, are they going to open it all up again?" I hoped that his answer was given with the same cynicism that I wanted to hear in his remarks. But I am not sure.
Someone arrived who was "wanted by the GSS and they would come to get him"; he was put in detention. We found out quickly that he was a "trespasser" who had entered upon an educational course. Another one, a quarter of an hour later.. Neither of them are wearing clothes suitable for this course, and they are very cold. The representative of the DCO, A., tries to please everyone and so is useless.
We believed the female soldiers at the hotline that they are registering our complaint and will try to speed up the treatment. The commander is taking care of it. He understands by now that they are not waiting for the GSS. Nothing happens, it is cold.
A dog trainer inspects a private car; gets the passengers outside. A man leaves the car with a tray of wrapped candies and decorations in his hands. He is on the way to a child's birthday party. He and his present get wet. And I would like to shout!
Later the dog trainer settles in the passsage area for young men and the dog checks them as well. A student who is going out shows the footprints of the dog's feet on his bag. Isn't the magnometer enough?
The rain starting coming down hard. The checkpoint commander gets the women out who were still waiting under the shed next to us. The DCO rep, A., asks him (!) if he couldn't leave them there until the rain stopped.
A student stopped to talk with us and exchanged addresses and telephone numbers. He spoke English fluently. His grandfather was Canadian and he himself studied in Germany. He told us how he tried to explain to the soldiers that they had no business being in an area that didn't belong to them. He wasn't so successful.
A river was beginning to flow at the feet of those going through. We took the phone number of the detainee. Later on, it turned out that he was still in his "educational workshop".
It was cold and rainy. We didn't delay on the way back.