Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Tue 17.8.10, Afternoon

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Yael L.-J. (reporting), Avital F. (driving)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Duration: 15:00 - 18:20 PM

General remarks: we have Ramadan and boiling heat. Unlike our usual term - first Etzion DCL and then Bethlehem checkpoint - because of the Ramadan we visited Bethlehem first in order to see if there would be any changes. With the exception that the street through the checkpoint  was closed we could not notice any ubnormalities.

15:15 PM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: the street for cars through the checkpoint was closed. No cars could pass.

When we entered the waiting hall on the Jerusalem side, a group of 19 tourists came out.

Three counters were open. The waiting queues were short and at 15:20 PM the hall was empty. At 15:25 PM another group of 12 workers  and employees   appeared and were checked fast. As  the hall was empty, we left.

16:00 PM,  Etzion DCL: after I had introduced myself, some people  came to tell me their problem,

One was a cultivated teacher from Hebron (or Beit Ummar - both of us understood something different).  He told us that he was waiting since 8:00 am. He spoke good English and told us that he has an 18 year old son, a successful student, who lives with the family. 

Last night at 2:00 AM a group of Israeli soldiers, led by a Captain, detained his son. The Captain told him that he should ask at the Etzion DCL in order to find out the reason for the detention.

The father was in great despair. He told us that he is positive that his son is not involved in political contacts or any conspiracy. Now he is waiting since 8:00 AM, and nobody is taking care of him. 

We made a contact to the 'Moked'. They recommended that next morning he should contact a lawyer and also inform the Red Cross in Hebron.

A young lady - about 20 - complained that she is waiting since 12:00 noon. She was ordered to co come to the 'Shabak'. She was hoping to get a work-permit for Jerusalem. We called several phone numbers but could not reach anybody.

All of a sudden a female soldier was shouting that the office is going to be closed and every body should leave. The clock showed only 16:45 PM and not 17:00 PM as was written on all announcements. We told the soldier that there is still ample time to deal with a young lady who is waiting since 12 noon.

Meanwhile a Christian family with young children arrived in order to get permits for a visit to Israel. After some arguments they let the young lady in. We were waiting for her for a while, but did not meet her again.

The family (with their children) was strolling around the house. We don't know if they got some help.