Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 19.9.10, Afternoon

Daniella G. (H), Maya B.-H. (reporting E)

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






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.