Beit Iba, Jit, Thu 25.9.08, Afternoon

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Smadar H., Deborah L. (reporting)

 Beit Iba 16:19It is still Ramadan and the fast ends at 19:00.There are 9 vehicles on the regular line from Nablus and checking is slow. The wait is at least a half hour
(16:20 – 16:51 and 16:50 -17:26). A bus takes 12 minutes to be checked. In consideration of the holiday the passengers are not asked to go on the pedestrian lines but are allowed to stay on the bus. The humanitarian vehicle line goes much more quickly. There are 9 vehicles on line to Nablus and in 4 minutes the line has been checked.
 Even though it is a holiday and special considerations are supposedly in effect some vehicles are turned back from both directions because they do not have a permit for their vehicle. The handcarts and donkey wagons are very casually checked.
About 60 or 70 young men are on 2 lines behind the turnstiles. The young men pass through about 2 per
minute .(From 16:31 to 16:47, 40 young men passed through the turnstiles on their way from Nablus.) The wait on line at this time is about 20 minutes (16:41 to 17:03 and  16:58 – 17:14). Part of the time there are extra soldiers whose job it is to check the parcels of the young men. This doesn't seem to speed up anything.

In a side line of women and older men there are 15 people  and suddenly there are 45 people. At times the line is slow because IDs are checked and then suddenly all the women and older men are waved on and only the men who look younger are checked. Those who do not have the right permit are sent back to wait on the line for the young men.

In consideration of the holiday, Palestinians going to Nablus by foot are not checked.

There is one detainee when we arrive at 16:19. The commanding officer tells us he has been detained for the
 last 5 minutes. He was on the side line and according to the commanding officer he tried to tell them that the woman he was with was his mother and he had to help her. The Palestinian later told Smadar that they misunderstood him because he had said it was his sister. All the other young men who had tried to pass on the side line were just told to go back to the end of their own line but this man was detained because they thought he had lied to them. He was detained for a half hour and then sent back to the end of the line which took another 16 minutes.

There is not a feeling of tension and the checkpoint is not packed. Still the tedium, the lack of respect, the long wait and knowing that at any moment some rule can change creates heaviness and the feeling of frustration that things will never change.

We leave at 17:31.  The CP at Jit is not manned