Beit Iba, Jit, Qalqiliya, Mon 1.10.07, Morning

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Frances T. (reporting), Osnat R., Moria (new member)

06.35 Qalqiliya- There are no lines of cars entering and about 12 cars waiting to exit. There are random checks incoming and individual checks on outgoing vehicles. After the arrival of an officer the MP's perform more thorough checks but no serious delays in either direction.

We proceed in the direction of Azoun and are pleased to note that the blockades have disappeared.

07.30 Jit – the checkpost is not manned but we see 2 soldiers strolling across the road.

07.40 Beit Iba- We arrive at the new and improved checkpost. We notice the preparation for a "garden" between the humanitarian post (which never seems to be used) and the "jora" – the detaineesinfo-icon area. An anomaly in this dusty and hateful place.

At first there are very few people crossing and the soldiers seem quite friendly. We see 2 detainees. We are informed by one of the soldiers that they tried to pass the checkpost without presenting their ID's and are "being punished".

At around 8.10 more Palestinians arrive at the checkpost and another checker is appointed to speed up the process. Women and the elderly pass without a check. The building of the new road continues on a small scale with 2 workmen adjusting cement blocks and the lorries and other vehicles kicking up piles of dust. We estimate the delay for cars from Nablus at about 10 minutes.

At 8.30 we approach the officer in charge and ask him why the detainees are still being held. At first he does not want to speak to us but we convince him. He maintains that they are undergoing "security checks". We ask him to allow us to speak to the detainees and he very reluctantly agrees. These are 2 university students from Nablus who have no idea why they are being held. They tell us they have an exam this morning at the university, which they will evidently miss.

There is a change of shift at the checkpost. The new officer in charge is now insisting on everyone being stopped for a check and we see women with babies and young children being made to stand in line and produce their ID's.

At 9.00 there is no change re the detainees and I try to make contact with the officer. He refuses to speak to me, turns his back and ignores me. This causes me to report the matter to the Moked and give them the ID of one of the detainees to find out why he is being held. The Moked promises to get back to me. 3 members of the Ecumenical Council arrive for a brief visit to the checkpost and tell us that the Ayal crossing is closed (?)

9.40 we leave the checkpost. At 10.30 I get a call from one of the detainees informing me that he has been released.