Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Tue 27.10.09, Morning

Rahel, Drora, Idit S. (reporting)

06:45 AM, Bethlehem: many Palestinian laborers waiting outside of CP for transportation to work. Those that passed through reported that it is a good day and there are no lines. By 7:15 all those waiting on line had passed through. The passage is quiet and empty. We left.


07:30 AM: We approached the CP on the way to Teko'a, beyond Har Homa. The traffic was flowing. Only those on their way out were checked. We wanted to see the passage at the school kids' passageway. A special gateway was installed for the inhabitants of Mazmuriya (a village within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, north of the separation wall). At the rough dirt road accessing the village (in marked contrast to the paved roads of the separation wall project) there was a red traffic light. A polite soldier asked us if we were 'lefties' and had cameras. He took our IDs, which he then returned to us enabling us to enter the village at our own risk. In the village we heard that studies commenced at 9:00 AM.

Villagers wishing to leave the village - which is blocked at all the other passages - are funneled out through the special inspection gateway. It was now empty but it is worth checking out what happens on other occasions, at early morning hours.


08:15 AM, Etzion DCL: the waiting room was completely packed. Five minutes later the turnstile began to turn and the people waiting started entering in groups. Two people approached us for assistance: a doctor who wanted to go to Mecca with his wife; they had been rejected and were sent back from the Allenby Terminal with a 'security refusal'; and a young person who was unfamiliar with the application procedures for medical treatments.

9:00 AM: The Checkpoint was empty. All is quiet and pastoral. The drivers await their customers who are still inside.