Beit Iba, Shave Shomron, Tue 10.2.09, Afternoon
On the way to the military camp while looking for the checkpoint of Shave Shomron we passed the new checkpoint at Beit Iba which has only lately been put up and is not manned. Next to the military campe we ask Debra the way.
Few cars going towards the north but no delays and the checkpoint is not manned.
We pass through streams of water. There is no drainage at all. The rain does not cease. The commander who has a bad cold and is very hoarse comes to tell us what is happening before we can ask. There are 3 detainees. He says it is an educational measure as they had got into a fight. 10 minutes later they are freed.
The humanitarian line flows and there were not many in the other lines but cars took a long time to get through. At the exit from Nablus the checking is very careful. We asked if this was because a detonating device had been found the previous day and this according to the commander. But he says that this is routing checking. The drivers says that they have waited an hour and the commander says it is because of the weather conditions. And truly when there was suddenly a hail storm or even hard rains the soldiers had to delay the checking.
We realised that the soldiers were graduates of a yeshiva who were serving for a shorter period and their service at the checkpoints was part of their training. They were very polite to us and asked about how we understand the Zionist world and our departure from them ended with a historical lesson which was different from what they knew. We parted on a friendly basis and went back to Shave Shomron.
When we arrived we saw cars exiting and entering without stopping but now there were two soldiers at the checkpoint hiding from the rain in one of the closed metal buildings. We apologised that we had woken them as otherwise the checkpoint would have remained open. They explained that the checkpoint is usually open unless there was a special order. We did not ask when they had come to man the checkpoint. When we did a turn with the car we saw that they had started to do random checking of cars in both directions. They say that the traffic going through is to the north as far as Jenin and south to Nablus.