Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Tue 24.5.11, Afternoon

Chana S., Yael L.-J. (reporting). Avital F. (driving)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?


Duration: 14:00 PM till 17:30 PM

Etzion DCL15:00  PM: .about 10 Palestinian vehicles on the parking lot, the inmates dispersed over different offices.

One older gentleman approached us, complaining about  "the occupation and these young guys (the soldiers) who dare to refuse giving us permits. These Jews have no right to be here". Chanah answered politely: "I am also a Jew". She gave him Sylvia's telephone number to complain and tell her all his frustrations.  

 At 15:20 PM  three men arrived  for the Shabbak.

A young man came to us asking if we could help him. He wanted to apply for a working  permit in Jerusalem. We sent him to the entrance at the back of the building. He did not return to us, so may be we sent him to the right office.

Another young man loved to tell us his story in fluent Hebrew. He had been in contact with the Shabbak long time ago. In the past he had to pay 2500 NIS to the officer in charge and got what he wanted. (Avital did not believe this).

Until 16:20 PM (the time we left), seven people - three women and four men - came in. To help two of the Muslim women, Chanah had to call the Superiors of the soldiers in Etzion DCL , because in their case the soldiers  were a bit inactive for a while. After this call the soldiers immediately returned to their work.  

Bethlehem- checkpoint 300: the checking for the pedestrians - walking to Bethlehem - was working well. There was no control. They were just passing.

To our great surprise the street to Bethlehem -going through the checkpoint for cars - was full with more than 20 waiting cars, trucks and busses keeping their motors running. All the vehicles and trucks had Israeli plates and - as we saw later - the drivers blue ID s. Some of them were very upset about the long waiting period.

An Armenian told us that he was on his way to the university in order to give a lecture. He worried that he would be late for his lecture. He also told us that he had met a lot of Jewish Israelis, who went out to dinner in Bethlehem restaurants.

We walked to the little hat where a very young officer in charge stood and held up the queue. We said "Shalom" and he was asking who we were. We answered: " Israelis from  Machsom - Watch". He asked us friendly to leave but did not care when we did not fulfill his request. Then he started to wave the drivers through efficiently. They just had to hold up and show him their blue ID cards.

After the last car had left we drove home.