Beit Iba, Tue 22.7.08, Afternoon
Beit Iba. When we arrived at the checkpoint at 15:00 we noticed a large number of taxis in the parking lot. Ten trucks were standing at the entrance. There were two regular lanes and one humanitarian lane open. The lines were long and terribly crowded. People who passed through the checkpoint said they waited two hours, and others said they waited three hours. When we arrived there were two people who had been detained, but every few minutes additional people were detained. Many people tried to bypass the long lines but were caught by soldiers who chased after them and put them in the detainees' pen. When we tried to tell the soldiers that they were behaving illegally, and even showed them the document from the prosecutor's office, they didn't listen to us. The DCO office also said they didn't know about it.
It should be noted that there was no DCO representative on site when we arrived and the soldiers didn't know where he was. We called the DCO office and were told that I'sam is the DCO representative and he's on site. Fifteen minutes later we called again, and received the same answer. After we called Zaharani the DCO representative suddenly appeared, half-asleep.
At about 15:50 the checkpoint suddenly became much more crowded and we heard voices raised and shouting, and people speaking rudely and harshly. All the lanes, including the humanitarian lane, closed down and no one went through. The soldiers told us that they're putting everything in order. One of the Palestinians who had gone through the checkpoint said "sadism." Dalya, who couldn't stand what was going on, took out her anger by yelling at the soldiers, and wonder-of- wonders, suddenly they began moving people through quickly.
By 16:30 the humanitarian lane was empty and the other lines were also much shorter.