Beit Iba, Jit, Mon 10.3.08, Morning

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Frances T., Roni S. (reporting)

 07:20 Beit Iba CheckpointJit Junction not manned. Along the roadside, breathtakingly beautiful blue irises. 07:30 – no quarantine. Two cars at the entrance and three at the exit. We stand facing the checkpoint, on the side so we can see the cars being checked in both directions    And the inspection of the porters’ loads. A soldier comes over and introduces himself as the commander, A., and requests that we don’t talk to the soldiers but put all questions to him or the DCO representative. He says this politely and in relaxed manner, which is the atmosphere prevailing at the checkpoint despite the incessant chirping of the magnometer. A dog, with minder, is checking an empty truck which will be loaded with packages being brought on a cart. All this under the watchful eyes of the soldiers. The dog even inspects the jeans loaded on the donkey cart.

There are few pedestrians in either direction.
 There is no restriction as to where we may stand. When we arrived there were no detaineesinfo-icon. Later, a taxi driver who had come to collect passengers was put in the pen. T., the DCO rep, promised that the driver wouldn’t be held too long. There are a lot of soldiers at the checkpoint – seems to be hidden unemployment... Two ecumenical volunteers arrive and a conversation starts with us and T. from the DCO. It appears that the commander wants to join in but has difficulty descending from his “look of toughness.” Ein Bidan Checkpoint is open today, and that is apparently why there is less vehicle traffic – according to the theory of one of the regular drivers who report to us on the situation at other checkpoints. 09:00 – we leave.