Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 10.1.10, Morning

Sylvia P., Ofra B., Chana A. (reporting). Two guests.

 07:00 AM, Bethlehem- Checkpoint 300: the exit hall is empty, usually a bad sign, but today, it seems, things are going well. We meet Hanna B. with two guests. She has been here since 5:30 and confirms what we see: today there were fewer people than other days and the crossing is almost completed. It wasn't more pleasant, but it was quick. Of the four windows open, two close at 7:15. The two female soldiers closing shop say to each other "until when will we be stuck with those 'arabushim' " (a derogatory term) and went to have breakfast. On the other hand, one of the guards on our side speaks to some of the people in a kind, polite way.

We leave early and take our two guests on a little tour of the wonders in the 'Wild West' Bank: roads and settlements. We see a lot of Palestinian cars and trucks as well and barely avoid head-on collisions with some of them.

 8:30 AM,  Etzion DCL: no pressure, few people. Some come to us for help.