Al Nashshash, Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Tue 6.10.09, Afternoon
From 2:00 till 4:30 PM, Bethlehem: there was a closure and we didn’t expect to have any ‘work’. The yellow cab drivers at the entrance to Hussan also complained of lack of work, since the workers couldn’t enter Jerusalem.
We continued through the Beitar junction and when we inquired re white number plates, which were whisked through without inspection, we were told that we wouldn’t ‘want to know.’ We read all the instructions re entry only for Israelis and what goods may be brought into the West Bank and through which checkpoint.
Etzion DCL: at the Etzion junction was an information booth set up by the Society for the Protection of Nature distributing folders of the numerous activities during the Sukkot holidays in the greater land of Israel and large signs advertising events.
The yellow cabs park right in front of the grocery store in El Aroub and the watchtower wasn’t manned.
Beit Ummar: all traffic also appeared to run smoothly – most soldiers and border police were probably engaged in the turmoil of the Old City in Jerusalem.
There was one man patiently waiting for a permit to Shaarei Zedek at the DCL, he seemed to be sure that he would get it soon – we left.
Al Nashshash: there was little traffic at Al Nashshash, also probably due to lack of busses from Jerusalem.
Bethlehem - Rachel Crossing, CP 300: busses and private cars stood in line to visit Rachel’s tomb. They were ineffectively directed by a young border police man. Only one window was open in the terminal, which was as windy as we remembered it from former winters. A beautiful yellow rose bush was blooming behind the fences. Only very few Palestinians passed.