The tunnel road, Etzion DCL, El Arub, Elazar, Efrat, Bethlehem, Thursday 9.6.2011 PM
14.30 - 18.00 pm
Etzion DCL: the walls on both sides of the tunnel road, with their slanted upper parts, are growing rapidly and the feeling driving there is as if being in a tunnel even when you are outside the one that is dug in the mountain. There was very little traffic going through the car CP. Road 60 was also not very crowded, only at the exit from El-Nashshash there was a traffic jam. The Palestinian cars which try to get out on to the main road do not have much leeway.
The waiting hall at the DCL was empty when we arrived but there was a soldier at the window. A quarter of an hour later three people arrived. One of them, very well dressed, introduced himself as a dentist from Bethlehem who specializes in transplanting of teeth. He came in order to get a permission to visit his colleague's clinic in Petah-Tikva. Just at this time there was no soldier by the window. The usual shouts of "chayal, chayal" ("soldier, soldier") were to no avail but a phone call to the office was helpful, and all three men were let in. The soldier spoke to them politely in English.
A moment after they were let in a woman arrived saying she was summoned by Captain Yoni. The soldier told her to go to the police office but did not point out where it was. We accompanied her to the back of the building and asked the soldier sitting in the police booth about Captain Yoni; he had no idea about whom we asked but was helpful trying to find out some information over the phone. Since this was also unsuccessful we decided to drive her up to the police station next to the army camp above the DCL. She was a little scared to enter our car and we felt like scouts forcing and old lady to cross the street. It seemed we have done the right thing and the guard outside the police station invited her to sit and wait therefor the Captain.
El Arub, Elazar, Efrat: we took the southern direction on road 60 to El Arub and realized that the observation tower at the southern entrance of the refugee camp had been dismantled.
We returned north and entered the settlement Elazar which is growing rapidly, and went again to look at the sight of the new settlement to be built, "Netzer", since one of us has not been here last time. The Israeli flags are fluttering around the sight and every few meters up the path a few benches are placed for the comfort of those climbing up there. Four benches are placed at the bottom; two of them have beautiful signs, one dedicated to Bialik. The benches were placed there by "Women in Green - the building movement on the Hills of Judea".
The entrance to Efrat is by a temporary road since some work is being done at the main road. It is interesting to note that here a temporary road is properly paved whereas on the road down from Hussan to El Hader for years the wheels of the cars are being ruined by the dirt road.
Bethlehem- Checkpoint 300: we returned to CP 300. The passage is quick as it has been for the last few months. Everybody went through one of the stations that had no person to check them – and its barrier had been turned loose. Of course one has to ask: "If there really is no reason to check the people on their way out from Israel, why have the workers been harassed for so many years when they return home from their hard day's work"