'Anabta, Beit Furik, Shave Shomron, Tue 16.10.07, Morning
On the way to Beit Iba
6:30 – Shavey Shomron
The army is not allowing the Palestinians to pick olives. About 150 men, women and young people, and 7 donkey-carts loaded with bundles of empty sacks, descend (or more properly, are taken down) between the olive trees beside the road at the command of 3 armed soldiers (two officers and a regular conscript). They are among about ten families from Dir Sharaf who went out to harvest olives. To their misfortune, their trees border on the settlement of Shavey Shomron and the army camp nearby. According to the Lieutenant who spoke to us, they did not coordinate the beginning of their harvest well enough with the military, so they are going to have to inspect all of them, including all the rolled up empty sacks. Three Hammers have arrived with reinforcements of a Major and 3 well-armed soldiers. After they arranged them all in a line, the donkey carts at the end, and after they marked with a military shoe a line in the dust by the side of the road, the inspection started. The harvesters provided IDs, and the soldier allowed them to cross over so they could sit and wait until the inspection would be over and they could all together go off to harvest their trees. Zvika Asherman reported that the families had been allotted 3 days to harvest their olives. On the first day, there was no harvesting because the soldiers did not understand their instructions and stopped them from getting to their trees. And now, they have been delayed for at least 2 hours in the morning chill, meaning that they will have to work in the hottest part of the day. The Lieutenant made sure to wave in front of us a document testifying to the fact that we would not be able to accompany the harvesters, since this was a closed military zone. 4 young people from abroad who came to help had to go back where they came from. We saw them later returning to Nablus by way of the Beit Iba checkpoint.
9:30 – Junction of Shavey Shomron is quiet. No trace of this morning's cruelty.
08:00 – Beit Iba
Crowding at the entrance to Nablus. Two hard-hearted female soldiers are checking IDs against a list of numbers. A young man who complained to the soldier was asked to show her his ID, which was then taken from him and he was told to wait in detention. There were about 5 detainees. When the checkpoint commander arrived he immediately reviewed the reasons for their detention with the soldiers: this one "sneaked by", as did the second; they were on the "wanted list", and one had a blue ID which had to be checked especially well.
By 09:00, the pressure decreased. It seemed that the checkpoint commander was effective. When we returned from Anabta, around 10:00, there were no people waiting. 5 new people in detention, in addition to the owner of the blue ID, and one with handcuffs and a blindfold. According to the checkpoint commander, this was the instruction he had received. Two members of the World Council of Churches who were observing at the checkpoints claimed that torture was taking place here. At least his hands should not be bound. The checkpoint commander refused to speak with them.
09:15 – Anabta
Traffic is fowing, almost no pedestrians. The taxi drivers complain that they are not allowed to stand in the parking area near the junction. According to the soldiers, they can park there, but not next to the checkpoint. Then a Hammer arrives, with an officer of high rank, and he was the one who didn't let them park there. We asked the drivers to give us the number of the Hammer.