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...
Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nuaman (Masmuria), Thu 19.5.11, Afternoon
situated on the Wall route as part of "Jerusalem Envelope," in its southeastern stretch, east of Zur Baher, Um Tuba and the small Nuaman Village, on Beit Sahur road, the checkpoint will serve as the main crossing for commercial goods from the southern West Bank to Jerusalem.
from 1:30 till 5:00 PM
Nuaman Checkpoint: we asked and received permission to enter Nuaman, the road entry had been blocked and a car that had waited could now also pass. We noticed a car dropping off people at the CP and returning to the village and stopped to talk to the driver, Jamil Darawi who didn’t know Hebrew, so he called his cousin the mukhtar who happened to be in Nablus. He then called his other cousin Ibrahim Darawi who speaks English and directed us to his house. Ibrahim told us that Lea Tsemel is now trying to get all the inhabitants blue ID cards, since moving the fence had proven impossible. He said that the Red Cross does no longer assist and people have no work. He teaches a little in Bethlehem since he retired from his government job in Ramalla. His youngest daughter (aged 6) attends the school in El Khas. Two of his older daughters are married, one in Sur Bakher and one in El Khas, they cannot visit their parents, only the son-in-law from Sur Bakher is allowed into the village. His older sons cannot marry, since they are unable to provide prospective brides with housing. He said they feel like in prison, but was nevertheless smiling and enjoyed joking with his young daughter.
Etzion DCL: on the way to the Eastern Etzion settlements we noted that at the entrance to the road towards Abadiya and the Dead Sea there is no red sign preventing entrance of Israelis. There was only one man at the DCL who showed us a fine of a 1,000 Shekels which (bringing cash) he had tried to pay unsuccessfully at the police counter. We found out that the Post Office in Alon Shvut was closed in the afternoons and suggested he contact Haya, but apparently he was in a hurry to pay and could not wait until next week, so he said he would ask the police in Kiryat Arba on Friday-morning to pay the fine for him.
Tunnel Checkpoint: at the Tunnel Checkpoint was a long line of cars waiting to pass in order to go south, stretching all the way to the end of the long tunnel, in our direction traffic passed quickly and the one detained car was released immediately.
Bethlehem- Checkpoint 300: at the Rachel Crossing all workers returned home without any investigation.