Etzion DCL, Al Walaja - Har Homa, Tunnels, Bethlehem

Observers: 
Channah St., Yael L.-J. (reporting), Avital F. (translating at the PC)
02/11/2010
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Afternoon

 

Total duration of the shift: 14:30 PM till 17:30 PM

General remarks:in order to pick up Channah and Avital at Givat Ram we changed our route to Etzion DCL by driving via Al  Walaja, along Talitha Kumi and through the checkpoint on the Tunnel road. 

Al Walaja, 15:00 PM:  we are using this beautiful road with several checkpoints more often than before. It was the first time that at both ends of the road long queues formed and all cars had to wait for passage.

Tunnel, 15:10 PM: we had to wait circa 10 minutes to pass. Passengers of a Palestinian bus (no. 124) to Jerusalem were evacuated from their seats and stood beside their bus for a document control. 

Etzion DCL, 15:30 PM:on the parking lot children were playing and 16 Palestinian cars were parked. Only a few men were sitting in the waiting hall, telling us, that almost everybody wants a new magnetic card because the validity of the old one is running out. The office rooms seemed overcrowded.

At 16:20 PM the female soldier on duty, sitting at a desk behind the turnstile, was shouting via loudspeaker that from now on all the counters are going to be closed. But at the entrance door is written "17 :00 PM". We protested, but of no avail. We did not reach by phone anyone of the superiors on our phione-list.   

When we were leaving a man addressed us with: "warm regards for Sylvia, who has helped me a lot.!!!"

Al Walaja - Har Homa, 17:20 PM:  usually this small checkpoint is empty in the afternoon. This time we had to wait to pass until other cars were checked.  

 

Checkpoint 300 – Bethlehem, 17:30 PM:  on the Jerusalem side only one counter was open. The Palestinians on their way home (more office people than workers) had to wait about 10 minutes and the tourists behind the barriers had to wait as well.