Nuaman, Etzion DCL, Bethlehem – Checkpoint 300
Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300, from 2:00 till 5:00 PM:
The soldier at the Mazmoriya CP had no idea who we were and promptly agreed to let us go into Nuaman. The village looked deserted, only some girls returned from school. On our way out we met the Mukhtar in his transporter who invited us to come in, but when we refused, he agreed to discuss matters with us outside his house. The inhabitants feel like in prison and their fate still has not been decided. Their relatives can never visit, because no one is allowed into the village. On the last holiday Id El Fitr there was a curfew in addition, because it coincided with Rosh Hashana, so they could not even leave via El Khas to Bethlehem, etc. Whenever soldiers are being changed at the CP there is unnecessary harassment and he has to call the commander frequently. The tiny grocery store in the village had to close down, because it had trouble getting produce into the village. Even fodder for the sheep is a problem and is dropped along the road, since it is not allowed to pass the CP before being searched. Last week someone’s new refrigerator was held up for a whole day at the CP. The children are also treated harshly while their schoolbags are being scrutinized.
Etzion DCL: we had not seen a queue outside the building for along time. This is the day the office deals with requests from Tekoa and surroundings and due to the curfew of the Succot Holidays and the fact that three times the Wednesdays happened to be eve of holidays there had been huge crowds in the morning. Some people told us they had been waiting since 5:30 in the morning and had not even been placed on any list. Apparently the first 150 pushers had been allowed entry and the other people had been told to go home and return next week. This didn’t register, so against better wisdom the younger ones were pushing against the turnstiles while the older men waited on the chairs or outside. Two humanitarian cases had trouble to enter, after having gotten permission, because they had to push their way through the thugs. We called a number of times and finally also contacted Hanna B. when nothing seemed to happen. One of the older men volunteered to draw up a list, which didn’t include those who refused to move away from the turnstiles. Then the girl at the window, with whom we had spoken beforehand about the humanitarian cases, announced that the officer Eyal would come down. Indeed two officers with drawn rifles appeared. They first ignored the list, stating that the next day there would be huge crowds from Beit Jalla and they could not deal with backlogs from the previous day, but then they mellowed and agreed to work an hour later, till 6:00 that day and allow fifteen men from the list inside and from then on every morning afterwards ten following names from the list. The men calmed down and we complimented Eyal, the officer who had spoken to them in fluent Arabic and suggested they come down more often to calm the frustrations. At the Rachel Passage - Checkpoint 300 there were no lines, apparently most workers had already passed.
At the Rachel Passage there were no lines, apparently most workers had already passed.