Number of Soldiers Present: Initially, at least six soldiers a jeep, and a pick-up jeep present. Later a third jeep and four plain-clothed officers present.
Soldiers Names, ID #’s, License Plate #’s, Etc:
Jeeps #s 669 509, 610 766, 669 983
Pick-up jeep # 667 836
8:00- Upon arrival, there were at least six soldiers, jeep # 669 509 and pick-up jeep # 667 836 at the checkpoint. Five taxi drivers and their vehicles were held at the checkpoint along with three other individuals. They are all made to stand in the cold rain, outside their vehicles, and are not allowed to use their cell phones or talk. The three individuals say they have been there since 7:30. The Taxi drivers say they have been there since 7:00. When questioned about the taxi drivers, the soldiers reply that the taxi drivers must be “educated” and that they must be harsh with them in order to “teach them a lesson” because while the soldiers were gone the drivers had driven past the concrete blocks the soldiers has set up. The drivers affirm that they had driven past the blocks when the soldiers were gone so that the pedestrians would not have to walk so far across the checkpoint.
8:10- Four of the five taxi drivers are released. One is not released, the soldiers say, because he has driven past the concrete blocks before.
8:16- Jeep # 610 766 arrives for the hill overlooking the road with at least two soldiers.
8:30- The three individuals held since 7:30 are released.
8:40- Soldiers begin checking IDs of young men and random bags of both men and women.
8:45- Jeep # 610 766 moves one cement block on the Surda side of the checkpoint aside to allow a commercial vehicle to pass after the vehicle is searched. The jeep then moves the block back in place.
8:50- Jeep # 610 766 leaves toward Bet El.
9:10- Pick-up jeep # 667 836, which had left towards Bet El earlier, arrives with jeep # 669 983 along with at least two more soldiers and four men in plain clothes, but with military helmets and bullet-proof vests and guns. A soldier says they are “special forces” while the Palestinians say the are “intelligence.” Two of the four say nothing but just stand guard with their guns. The other two speak Arabic and English. The soldiers stop almost all the young men who attempt to pass and are called over one by one to be questioned by the two plainclothes men in Arabic. They are asked where they are coming from, where they are from, where they live, what they do or study, and other things the ICW monitor does not understand. Some of the men are loaded on pick-up jeep #667 836.
9:30- Pick-up jeep # 667 836 leaves toward Bet El with six Palestinian young men. When asked, the soldiers say they are to be questioned, “no big thing.”
9:40- Five or six other young men are taken behind jeep # 669 509, which is parked in between tall concrete barriers. The men are made to stand in line facing the concrete barriers with their back to the road and their head down.
10:00- When monitors leave, soldiers are continuing to stop young men for questioning. The men are still being made to stand behind jeep # 669 509, the 5th taxi driver is still standing in the rain, and random bags of men and women are being checked.