Beit Iba, Wed 31.12.08, Morning

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Michal B. (others not listed) Trans. Judith Green

9:20  Private cars go through in both directions.  The
soldiers whom we questioned were not allowed to talk with us and directed us
instead to the checkpoint commander.  He answered some of our questions but
didn't disguise his dislike for MachsomWatch and also gave us a long lecture
about why and what, without giving us a chance to say a word.  He prohibited
photography and sent us back to the square meter which had been allocated to
observers at the checkpoint.  He explained that, against his will, there was a
lightening of restrictions concerning vehicles:  free entrance for cars but, at
the exit from Nablus,
cars which were not from the area needed a permit.

There was one detainee in the detention area, a
"bingo" according to the commander.  In spite of the cold and rain,
those passing through had to take off their shoes from time to time.  The
soldiers work with a list and take quite a few IDs for clarification before
giving them permission to pass.

One youth who was taking packages on a cart between
both sides of the checkpoint turned to us since, in spite of the fact that he
has been going through there for 5 years, this morning he was turned back. 
Only 4 carts were allowed through.  The owner of the kiosk said that the
checkpoint closed yesterday for 3 hours because of suspicious objects that were
found in one of the children's pockets.