Tuesday, October 19, 2010, afternoon

Yael L.-J. (reporting). Avital F.. (translating at the CP)

General remarks  

The day before our shift a foreign friend  was telling me, that soldiers wanted to prevent her from entering Jerusalem although she was showing them her German passport and had just passsed the checkpoint from Bethlehem. A huge Haredi festival with a lot of music was  taking place on the Jerusalem side . The street to the checkpoint had been barred. No public busses, Israeli or Arab, were available.

Checkpoint Bethlehem : we decided to clarify this case first. We arrived later than our usual shift and reached the cross-road before the checkpoint at 16:00 PM. Everything was blocked and barred, police and Haredim all over the place, women, children, men selling all kind of holy things. Tour busses were parked in long rows. Only when we left the checkpoint we saw one Arab bus on his way to Jerusalem.

We were learning that it was "Rachel's Johrzeit".

We  parked far away. From there we walked to the checkpoint in order to figure out what was happening to the Palaestinians in this festival chaos. We got stopped by a soldier who wanted to see our passports and as we had none we showed him our ID's  and MW tags. He told us that Israelis could not pass no matter from which organisations. Tourists could. The Palestinians could pass through Beit Jala and the tunnel road.   

It was too late for checking this or to drive to the Etzion DCL.