Beit Iba, Mon 2.6.08, Afternoon

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Elisheva A., Bilha A., Yona A. (reporting)

Translator:  Charles K.


15:30  The CP commander at Beit Iba greets us with a request that we stand behind the concrete barriers.  We explain that we'll stand where we'll be able to see what's happening at the CP, and the discussion ends. 

The CP is quiet, sometimes almost silent.  Occasionally a car passes on the road.  A few soldiers are manning the vehicle CP, and dog handler is hanging around with her dog near the pickup truck that carries the dogs' kennels.  They didn't use the dog during the time we were there.

Only a few pedestrians leaving Nablus via the Beit Iba CP.  Students are on vacation, and a number of young men pass through the turnstile, removing their belts at the sound of the magnemometer, sometimes having to remove their shoes, presenting documents to be checked, getting dressed and moving on.  Pedestrians entering Nablus are checked carefully.  Everyone, regardless of sex or age.  There's a broad red line on the path about five meters before the soldier's post, and he makes sure that everyone stands behind the red line until he calls them.  Every package, every handbag and briefcase is carefully examined, and ID cards are checked against a list of numbers posted on the glass window of the booth.

15:45  A laborer returns from work, carrying a bucket full of tools.  The soldier looks in the bucket and asks whether he has a knife among the tools.  The laborer takes out a box-cutter.  The soldier isn't sure what to do with it.  After talking with the commander, they decide to confiscate it.  The man looks satisfied that they only took the knife and allowed him to proceed without additional delay.  In the booth, on one side, we see a pocket knife next to the box cutter.  We asked the soldier what they do with them, and the answer was that they are thrown into the garbage.

A Palestinian with a large bag is asked to open it and remove its contents.  "What's in the bag?  Only clothes? Take them out, take them out."  There's a trowel among the clothes.  "Why did you say there were only clothes?"  The soldier looks embarrassed at what he has to do.  He notices a woman approaching with four children, and passes her through without making her wait on line.  One of the children (who appears to be about 9 years old) has a large backpack.  The soldier asks him to take it off, open it and show him what's inside.