Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Tue 9.3.10, Afternoon

Observers: 
Chana S., Yael L.-J. (reporting). Avital F. (driving)
Mar-9-2010
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Afternoon

14.30 till 17.00 o'clock

15:15 PM, Etzion DCL: on the parking lot - 4 cars with Palestinian numbers.  Five elder gentlemen in the waiting hall.

One is standing before the turnstile. He was telling me that he is very familiar with the rooms for investigation and the procedure. He and another man got called up. Three young men arrived , all in black t-shirts and with big crosses around their neck. Two of them were disappearing behind the turnstile. The third one told me, that his friends were invited to the Shabak, while he was just accompanying them.

16.10 PM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: it is just rush hour for thePalestinians on their way home. A long queue before the entrance. Two young guards in black uniforms are dividing the queue in smaller groups which are allowed to get into the hall with the counters. There were four of them open.

As usual we were walking in looking for a place to stand for our observations. The guards were telling us in an unfriendly way that we were no longer allowed to stand inside the hall.  There would be new regulations. We were complaining at an always polite officer from the blue police. He was apologizing for the inconvenience but confirming these new regulations. 

Before we were leaving all of the people inside the hall ,were pushed out with us. The guards said there would be an incident. The  iron door  got closed. We were pressed together outside.

A (Christian) woman who made the way to Jerusalem at all working days , because she was working at a church , was telling us, that an 'incident' at this checkpoint could be that somebody had a forbidden object in his or her luggage. So it had happened a few days ago that a woman teacher had a knife with her "for peeling an apple". The soldiers  took it away and everybody had to wait.

After about five minutes one half of the door got opened. People were streaming to the counters. But only half ofthe door was open, because the other half did not function. It could be opened only later.     

At 16.45 the rush hour of the checkpoint was over, and we left.