Beit Iba, Mon 31.3.08, Morning
07.35 Beit Iba. 2 cars in both directions. It is raining. Passengers getting out of a taxi do not have umbrellas. Pedestrians today have to come through the shed and not as usual on the side of the road. All IDs are checked fairly quickly. A truck driver who says he passes each day is not allowed through. The DCO says that there is a change in the rules. Now not only do driver and truck need a permit but they have to be registered at the checkpoint which only the DCO can give and the DCO does not give permits to more than 5 cars to a company. The commander, a reservist, is not interested. It is not his problem. He has to run the checkpoint properly and it is true that things are calm. We saw trucks, which normally passed, standing on the side waiting to pass after a check and in the end are told to go to the DCO to get the permit. At the exit the young go through the x-ray device as usual, passing through again and again until the device is quiet. There is less hostility than usual. It is all more or less a matter of routine. 08.25 Those entering are almost not checked. Now people are checked randomly and those who do not have to be checked go on the side of the road. 08.45 Buses with small children come to the checkpoint and the soldiers get into the buses to see that all is in order. The children are children laughing and shouting. At least they do not seem frightened of the soldiers.