Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 15.8.10, Afternoon
15:00 pm, Etzion DCL: some cars in the lot, some people in the waiting hall, 6-7 of them pressing against the turnstile. The soldier at the window ignores our cries to him, never lifting his eyes from his book. We make a phone call, and a polite soldier thanks us for reporting the problem. Shortly thereafter the turnstiles turn, letting in most of the people waiting. When we come back an hour later (we drove south on route 60, noting the many stalls, tiny to small, selling produce on the roadside), there are few people waiting, all new faces. The soldier agrees, after some negotiation, to even let in a man who came on the wrong day (villages are allotted days), provided the hall inside is empty, and we get undeserved thanks for this minuscule concession.
16:40 pm, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: hardly anyone in sight, with more people going towards Jerusalem than towards Bethlehem. Apparently we came too late, as on Ramadan the days of work start, and end, earlier. The gate to the parking lot is closed, though there are cars in it -- did they enter through the open exit road? People cannot go to the closed CP for cars, either. We wonder how Bethlehem-bound vehicles can proceed.