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...
Beitar, Bethlehem (300), Etzion DCL, Sun 11.3.12, Afternoon
Etzion DCL, 15:30: empty. The soldier girl behind the window says there are a few people inside the office. A man comes out, saying it took him about an hour to obtain a permit on humanitarian grounds. His mother is undergoing an operation in Jerusalem. All he got was 2 days so he will probably have to come again. We wish his mother health and leave.
Betar Ilit, 16:00: what once used to be a small booth has become a "terminal" with separate lanes, with a new grey building where inspection takes place as in other terminals, but the sign warning Israelis not to take across Palestinians in their cars, remains. We cross the checkpoint in both directions and count 9 soldiers on duty, though they seem to be doing little.
Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300, 16:20: many people rushing home. It takes them less than 30 seconds to get to the other side.