Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 10.1.10, Afternoon

Nava D., Maya B.-H. (reporting)

15:15 PM, Etzion DCL:  the parking lot is empty.  The waiting room is almost empty.  The soldier's booth is also empty.  Still, we call for the sake of the 5 waiting people. We are politely told: "I'll send a soldier", and so  it was.  The carousel started turning, and all 5 people went in. As we prepared to leave -- the first two emerged from inside.  There was nobody inside, apparently, and so they were helped right away, and came out within 2 minutes, satisfied. 

There were blue police both at the former Etzion Checkpoint, and on route 60 south of there.  However, we didn't observe them actually stopping anyone. Route 60 is dotted with vegetable stands, all selling a single product: yellowish cauliflower.

We drove back to Jerusalem through Walaje Checkpoint (this was a sightseeing shift for the benefit of a new observer).

16:30 PM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300:  as we arrived, there were two long lines waiting outside the building. They willingly made way for us to go all the way up to the building.  A civilian guard was giving them instructions in Arabic. 

"What did you just tell them?", I asked politely.  "I don't have to answer you", he barked back. "Of course not", I said. "But you may". "One more question out of you and I'll call the police and tell them you are  disturbing my work". "You go ahead and do that", I suggested.  He did. A policeman arrived. "These watchers are interfering with my work", complained the guard. The policeman glanced at us, took the guard aside, and told him quietly to just disregard us.  There was something pleasing about all this happening in front of the crowd of watching Palestinians. Meanwhile, the barking guard was doing a good job of managing the line, and although long, it moved quickly.  When we left, there were no crowds.