Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 25.5.11, Afternoon
14:30 - 17:30
Etzion DCL, Elazar, view over “Netzer”, Efrat via (temporary road), the wall in Wallaje and CP 300
Etzion DCL: we drove along Road number 60 via the tunnels towards the Etzion DCL. The wall beyond the second tunnel is almost completed and closes the tunnel road off. After the Elazar settlement we saw signs announcing that the Southern entrance of Efrat from Road 3157 is temporarily closed from April till August and that there is an alternative road turning right under the main road.
We continued to the Etzion DCL where three men were waiting; one for a permit, one for a magnetic card and one for an appointment with the security. Only after we had arrived and had shouted to the soldier at the window, he let them all in at once. Afterwards another man came for a permit, the soldier was not in sight and our shouting was to no avail, nor calling him over the phone. We called the number inside, a quarter of an hour passed, we shouted again and this time there was a response and the turnstiles moved. Why is there no soldier at the window during working hours (at least within view)? And why everything has to be done through shouting which sometimes remains unanswered?
From the DCL we returned to road 60 and entered Elazar which is expanding fast; the construction of a new neighborhood whose foundations had been laid during the freeze is nearing completion and is now fenced in. We returned to Road 60 southward and drove according to the signs to the temporary entrance of Efrat. On the way we noted another sign to a dirt road on the right towards the “Netzer Ceremony” – the road in fact surrounds the southern end of Elazar. On the way we saw dozens of workers on foot and in vehicles that had finished their day’s work in the new expansion - they don’t use the main entrance to the settlement, but instead have to take the lower dirt road.
Opposite us is a hill where some digging took place – it is full of Israeli flags – this must be the new Netzer.
We returned on the dirt road to the temporary entrance of Efrat. After the dip under the road is a new check post and a guard who opens it and another gate which can be closed. The road winds a little; recently it has been paved anew to accommodate the drivers, and gets to Efrat. The exit from Efrat towards road 3157 has also been changed. We drive according to the signs and arrive at that road, just a little before the original entrance to Efrat. On the site massive construction is taking place to build the huge Migdal Oz/Efrat junction.
Back on Road 60 to Wallaje; the wall in Wallaje continues to be built – there are also gigantic supporting walls at steep spots – on the other side the villas of Har-Gilo are being built.
Bethlehem– Checkpoint 300: workers crossed with no unnecessary delays.