Beit Iba, Mon 15.12.08, Afternoon
14:05 Much traffic
on Route 55 from Bani Elias toward al-Funduk. We’re on a long
line of more than 20 cars. The line disappears after al-Funduk.
Somebody made it his business to erase the Arabic from almost all the
signs on Route 55.
14:35 People entering
Nablus on foot from Beit Iba aren’t checked. Few young men leaving
Nablus through the turnstiles, holding their belts in their hands after
going through the magnemometer. A soldier checks people leaving
Nablus through the fast lane. Each person waits for the soldier
to signal them to advance. People who advance before the soldier
signals are sent back. People are selected randomly to be checked.
Sometimes the soldier waves someone through, and sometimes he rummages
through every bag and sack, and compares the ID number with the list
of digits on the page he’s holding. A man wearing a black suit,
pink shirt and a tie hands his ID card to a soldier who compares it
to the numbers on the page and finds a match. The soldier goes
over to the hut to look it up on the computer, comes back and returns
the ID card to its owner. Two men meet at the checkpoint next
to the soldier. The one coming from Nablus gives the man opposite
him a large envelope. The soldier asks what’s in it. The
young man bends it in half to show that it’s full of papers.
The soldier isn’t convinced, and the young man has to open it.
15:30 A Palestinian
approaches us and says that today he came through from Nablus without
being checked, but yesterday, and a number of other times in the past,
when the soldiers check his ID card they say “bingo.” They detain
him, and he must wait a long time until his ID card is returned and
he’s released. “The soldiers say, terrorist, Hamas, it’s
not nice. I have ten children, I’ve got a magnetic card, I’m
clean, no suspicious past…” He asks whether we can help him,
but there’s nothing we can do.