Since 2001 we have observed dozens of army checkpoints on paved and unpaved roads in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and along the Separation Fence; Civil Administration offices which grant permits to Palestinians; and military courts trying Palestinian prisoners. We stand at the checkpoints observing the behavior of soldiers and Palestinians without interfering, intervening only when soldiers behave offensively to Palestinians. Then we try to speak to the soldiers themselves or telephone...
Bethlehem (300), Etzion DCL, Nuaman (Mazmuria), Hussan, Thu 5.1.12, Afternoon
Hussan junction, DCL Etzion, Nuaman and CP 300
From 14:30 till 16:30
At the entrance to the tunnel road we met with many signs in support of Megrom announcing “Equality
Hussan Junction: at the Eastern entrance to Hussan a tiny market is developing (young boys trying to sell baklawa). The drivers complained like always about the state of the underpass road to El-Khadr which is worse since the first rains. It ruins their cars and the fact that the infrastructure for a proper road has been in existence for a long time is very annoying. The buses leave their passengers quite far from the place where the cabs are parked, because they are not allowed to stop at the roundabout and are unable to maneuver in the narrow parking lot.
Etzion DCL: at the DCL we met with an angry Palestinian who had come in vain to meet with the police. Then we met the Monday-afternoon MW-shift of Bethlehem who (like us) had decided that since no one had registered on Thursday-afternoon for Bethlehem none of us would be there. We will as of now inform Ronit of our plans for the next week as soon as we know them.
We proceeded to the Eastern Etzion settlements and noted the massive construction in the Etzion industrial zone south of Efrata. We were stopped by a polite soldier at the Mazmoriya CP who enquired whether he could help us and we asked him for permission to enter Nuaman.
Nuaman CP: when we returned he opened the electric gate (also lowering the spikes) by remote control after we had made the U-turn. We saw more agricultural activity in Nuaman, but only one person on the road who greeted us warmly. As we exited a woman with two young children and some shopping climbed the hill towards the village.
Bethlehem– Checkpoint 300: there were a great number of buses at the entrance to Rachel’s tomb and we thought it must be some special holiday. However it turned out to be solely for the Birthright participants who didn’t enter the tomb’s compound, but only took pictures of the wall and the fortifications. The Palestinian workers in a hurry to get home were not checked at all, as a matter of fact there was not even a soldier at the window where they all passed. Those entering Israel were mostly tourists – we gave a lift into town to two German students who had spent the night in Bethlehem.