Azzun, Beit Iba, Jit, Thu 10.1.08, Afternoon
14.45 Beit Iba. 3 cars at the exit and none going in. Two lines of checking for the young and a side line for women and the elderly and those who have permits. 70 pedestrians waiting and 2 detainees in the enclosure. One was freed as we arrived and one 10 minutes later. They are from Qalqiliya and today all the men of all ages of the villages are having their IDs checked (because of the visit of Bush it seems). After we arrived no one was sent to the enclosure but to the commander of the checkpoint who sent them on their way. About 97 pedestrians took 15 minutes to get through…about 400 to an hour. In spite of that the wait in line was about 25 minutes. Those entering Nablus were not checked.14.55 No one in the side line. An ambulance waits to leave Nablus and has been there some minutes. Next to the driver is a man who says that he is a doctor and they have two babies connected to oxygen and had already been detained for 10 minutes. We were told at the checkpoint that there had been a problem with the ID of one of the men accompanying the ambulance. We plead that they hurry up as it is forbidden to delay an ambulance. The delay was 10-12 minutes …this when they should not have been detained at all.14.55 A middle aged man waits next to a smart car in the side road to Nablus. I see he has been there some minutes and go up to him. He is a lecturer at the American University at Jenin. The soldiers had delayed him to check his ID even though he has a permit to enter Nablus with his car. He is shocked that they are delaying him. The reason is that he is from Qalqilia and it seems that the order concerning Qalqiliya is the same for all ages. He waited about 20 minutes.15.24 – 15.33 About 100 people in line and for the young a wait of 29 minutes. One of them comes out and tells me that there is a young boy of 15 in line and the soldier will not allow him to pass till his mother comes to fetch him. The family are from Azzun. I go to the line and identify the boy, bring the commander his birth certificate, he speaks to him and lets him go. Why could the soldier himself not speak to the commander instead of saying he had to wait for his parents.Not many cars now and a wait of 15 minutes. If the line had been longer the waiting period would have been that of an hour.The entire time that we were there the soldiers worked constantly quietly.and without pause. 16.00 We leave. At Jit no checkpoint. At Pondok work is being done on the water pipe which the army had damaged when putting up a blockade. The entrance to Azzun is open. .