Beit Iba, Qalqiliya, Wed 12.3.08, Afternoon
14:20 Beit Iba – We passed through the Qalqilya checkpoint without waiting.
14:25 – As usual, the main entrance was closed and barred by the high wall which was specially built and next to which are tall piles of dirt, and on top of them decorative barbed wire, and in between them old people and youths make their way homeward with difficulty. A "hammer" is standing at the entrance to Maale Shomron. Shvut Amim, which is supposedly empty, is standing and active.
14:50 – Beit Iba. At the entrance 5 cars wait but they go through quickly. At the exit from Nablus there is a line of 5 cars which also go through after a short inspection. There are two detainees in the shed and taxi drivers who are enjoying an educational seminar… Two turnstiles are operating and about 50 people are waiting for the usual inspection; their shoes set off the alarm, so they need to remove them. Some of them laugh and some are angry, justifiably. In the third line there are women and men over 45 and children. This line moves relatively quickly. There is a lot of noise from the magnometers but, in general, the checkpoint is being run efficiently and calmly.
15:15 – A Palestinian woman from Kusin arrives with a sick child in her arms. She doesn't have a permit to enter Nablus but she explains that she is bringing the sick child to the doctor. N. responds and allows her to pass, warning her to return quickly.
15:45 – Four boys arrive in sports uniforms accompanied by a lot of soldiers looking very pleased with themselves: they caught terrorists, the boys are handcuffed and with their eyes covered are brought directly to the detention cell. We notified the hotline right away about this event and they promised to check it out and get back to us. Meanwhile, we managed to find out from one of the victors that the boys were caught burning tires on a military road. The hotline we called reported that the boys were collecting stones near a military road. Afterwards we talked with Osham from the DCO – incidentally, he behaved very well during our whole shift with the people going through and also concerning this traumatic incident. After he spoke with the boys, he told us that they said that yesterday was a free day (a strike at the school) and so they decided to celebrate by having a picnic barbeque – how can we know who is telling the truth? We heard 3 versions. We asked Osham to immediately notify their families and indeed, after a short time the parent showed up. We spoke with them, gave them our telephone numbers and, at 17:00, we left with heavy hearts for ‘Anabta. We found out by telephoning one of the families (an English-speaking doctor) that they were released at 18:30. And I ask how? Both stones and burning tires? And they let them out just like that? The IDF has solutions for everything.