Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 19.9.10, Afternoon

Observers: 
Daniella G. (H), Maya B.-H. (reporting E)
19/09/2010
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Afternoon

Etzion DCL, 15:15 pm: few people waiting, and even they are let in within

 

minutes. The blue policeman is off duty today, no explanations. The

 

soldier at the window is at the window, and we express our appreciation

 

for the state of the waiting room -- a big change from the previous Sunday

 

PM.

 

 

 

Route 60, Etzion's old Checkpoint:  there are soldiers manning the old CP, as there have

 

been for the past 3 weeks. Since we don't see them stopping anyone, it is

 

unclear what they are doing there.

 

 

 

Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300, 4-5pm: From afar we can hear the hubbub of distress. The

 

2 parallel lines are long as reach all the way to the road, maybe 100 men

 

strong. Nothing moves. We sqeeze our way inside, to see a single booth

 

open, dealing with the traffic going INTO Jerusalem, and a couple of

 

soldiers chatting outside the booths. Before we can complain, police

 

officer E arrives, and instructs the civilian guards to let everyone

 

though, unchecked. He has to encourage the guards to speed up, as one in

 

particular seems uninclined to make passage so swift and easy, and keeps

 

trying to bodily push the surging crowd back. But they may have been

 

waiting a long time before we arrived, and now they rush through in

 

minutes. Meanwhile new busloads arrive, and a new line forms. They are

 

allowed in 5 by 5, but when this is not fast enough, another round is

 

allowed passage unchecked. We only left when the stream of arrivals

 

abated, but during that time, passage was sufficiently swift, though only

 

2 booths were working.

 

It is ironic when we get the occasional ire of the frustrated

 

Palestinians: "Why don't you do something?", "Why aren't you always

 

here?", "why don't you go to the Bethlehem side?". Our power to help is

 

clearly overestimated.

 

The vehicle CP outside has reopened.