Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nabi Yunis, Mon 21.6.10, Morning
7.00 am, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: many men were standing outside waiting for transport. 4 stations were open with quite long lines. There were a number of women, some with children – they seemed to be on an organized outing as we saw them set out in a bus from the carpark.
We had conflicting reports about the speed at the Bethlehem end. Apparently the ‘teachers’ lane was much quicker.
By the way, we have kept in touch with one person from Bethlehem on a daily basis so as to compare waiting times. She said she sometimes goes through the men’s lane because the women’s one keeps closing. She also felt that Friday is very crowded because of people going to Jerusalem to pray – and felt that it would help people coming to work if those coming to pray would come later!
One man, plastic bag with lunch in his hand, was suddenly refused entry and was told to fetch his permit from Etzion DCL.
Another man told us of persistent problems in the past week. Each time he would be held back, only to be told afterwards it was ‘by mistake.’ Is this a warning of some sort?
7.30 AM, Husan: no clients were waiting for us here but we did see a number of taxis, a bus and a
On the other side (in Israel) the road is asphalted. According to some local taxi drivers: "the PA offered to pay for asphalting this stretch (in the PA) but Israel refused this suggestion. At the same time Israel has done nothing about improving ‘our’ side".
According to these same drivers, a set of electricity pylons are being set up along route 60. It seems like being the harbinger of closing the entire road to Palestinian traffic, with a separate network of roads to service all the surrounding villages.
8.00 AM, El Khadr: no clients here, but we were struck by an enormous poster inviting us ALL to the pool in the Gush. (a photograph will follow).
8.05 AM, Etzion DCL: a number of people waiting for the DCL to open. After clarifying that there was a policeman on duty, we continued south to meet someone at Halhul.
8.30 AM, Beit Ummar: While this is north of Halhul, we reached it by first going south because there is no left turn out of Halhul (as previously reported) and one has to drive all the way to Nabi Yunis in order to drive north.
Here a man came with photocopies of i.d.’s of his three sons, all refused permits by Security. We gave him Sylvia’s phone number.
A man came with a police notice. Only at the bottom, hardly noticeable, was a line showing that his refused status was about to expire. So he could in a few days get his permit and he wasn’t aware of this.
9.00 AM, Nabi Yunis: back again, because we had arranged a meeting with a man to pay lawyer’s fees.
We referred a young man who was refused a permit to the Palestinian DCL to find out what kind of refusal – police or security (once again, for him just the very first stage of a complicated drawnout running around from office to office).
A woman came on her husband’s behalf. He is paying a series of old traffic fines (reduced with the help of MW) and they were not clear exactly which had been paid. So Chaya checked the receipts and warned which payments were imminent.
A man who paid a 1500 shekel fine last week and still has a court case coming up. The police had kept his receipt at Maaleh Edomim(?) and he did not know (and was not advised) to make a copy. He is to send whatever documents he can trace by fax and to be in touch with Chaya.