Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 26.8.09, Afternoon
14.30 - 18.00
We started at Etzion DCL, about ten people were seated in the waiting room, they said that only about half an hour passed since they came. There was no soldier at the window and every few moments one of the people got to the turnstile and shouted: "Soldier" to no avail. We called the DCL number twice and were answered cordially but it took some time before a soldier came and let all the people in. A young woman from Beit Jalla was told she can not enter since this is not the assigned day for her. She was angry and tried to be helped by us. We were unable to convince her that we have no say in these (or any) matters. Another woman came up to us and shook our hands in gratitude for our presence. We felt we were not helpful in any way.
We drove from there to Beit Ummar to greet our friend Abu Nassim with Ramadan Karim. As always he was happy to see us and said all was well these days. We had the impression he is doing some refurbishing to his house. With Abu Nassim sat two young men, one of them approached us in native Hebrew, he asked who we were, he never heard of MW and wondered if there really is a chance to get rid of the check points. We inquired where he is from and it turned up that he was born in Ashdod and is married to a Palestinian and lives in her village, Idnah.
Again, as in the last summers, was it heart breaking to see along the road dozens of small stalls on which stand buckets filled with ripe fruit that can not be marketed. The small children attending these stalls call out to all drivers urging them to come and buy. We stopped and bought some - a drop in the ocean of misery.
At Cp 300 we saw only a few people coming back from work, tjree windows were open and the passing was quick and smooth. It was interesting to see all men arriving without the usual bags they carry with their food utensils, this is Ramadan!
Here too we felt that except for our mere noticeable presence there is not much we can do.