Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nuaman, Tue 22.12.09, Afternoon

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

Afternoonshift, 2:30 till 5:00 PM.   Nice weather, one day before Christmas. Christians are trying to get permits in order to visit their relatives in Israel. 

3:00 till 3:30 PM,  Etzion DCL: today the situation is different from other visits at the same place and the same time. Today there were many more cars than usual ( 11 cars with Palestinian numbers , one with TV equipment,  and one with an Israeli number ), all parked in the parking lot. Inside the building in the big and heated waiting room (with an open door) were 2 Palestinians waiting for their permits to visit Israeli relatives  during Christmas. All the other claimants were invisible and could not be heard. It was as if they should be hidden from the eyes of  observer.

Because of this situation we did not help anybody as we could not see any passers. The soldier behind the turnstile greeted us in a friendly manner.  

Nuaman (Mas Moriah or Maavar Har-Homa): we were the only car crossing the checkpoint at about 4:00 PM. 

4:20 till 4:50 PM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: workers were going home (almost no tourists at the checkpoint). Four  counters were open and the soldiers were working properly. 

At one counter the people were showing their papers by entering them into a slot, got them back from the slot. No soldier was visible. I wanted to  see how this was working and peeked into the cabin. There was a soldier  almost lieing on his seat so that he could not be seen from outside. When he noticed that I was observing him, he got angry, called  a guard and asked for my identity. I told him that I was from Machsom Watch, but had forgotten my tag. I gave him my ID. He ordered me to leave immediately the building, which I did.