Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Tue 27.10.09, Afternoon

Yael L.- J. (reporting). Avital F. (driving & translating).

2:35 PM till 5:00 PM

General situation:  there is still a lack of women observers at the Machsom Watch, which results in me being the only Machsom Watch member in our shift. Once upon a time we started with 4 women in a shift!

Avital is driving and helping me with translations (from Arabic). I am telling the Palestinians that he is our driver, but they might think that he is some undercover agent. Avital is keeping himself aside and only mixes in the conversation when it seems to be appropriate or when I need his help with translations.

3:15 PM till 4:15 PM, Etzion DCL: on the parking lot were 5 Palestinian cars parked with 6 men waiting inside. The hall was empty. A soldier was visible in his cabin. Did not react to calls.

One man from Hebron told us that for 12 years he has been working in the settlement Kfar Ezion. All of a sudden his permit was cancelled. He spoke already with Sylvia. She may have recommended to submit a law suit, which he thought would be too expensive for him. Eventually the soldiers started working. The  people who waited got called in. We left.


4:20 PM till 4:45 PM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300:  earlier, on our way to the Etzion DCL (at 3:00 PM) we  already noticed how the checkpoint is on the Jerusalem side. Almost empty. Now, at 4:20 PM there were up to 20 people, mostly men. The soldiers were opening first two counters, then four, and they were working fast, without any screaming.