Hussan, Beitar Illit CP., Etzion DCL, Bethlehem - CP 300
Hussan, Beitar Illit CP., Etzion DCL and Bethlehem - CP 300
We noted many more yellow cabs than before across the underpass to El Khader, the road is even dustier than we remembered. We drove through the village and saw that the fence against stone-throwers has been improved and reinforced. There was a line in front of the CP beyond Beitar and the contents of commercial vehicles were checked by customs’ officials. As soon as we had parked and approached the CP a soldier came and ‘allowed’ us to observe from across the road near a burnt-off field. The driver of a large truck entered the office with a young woman clerk and they closed the door. A truck with rubble was held up. But after five minutes was allowed to continue. About 50 yards further towards Tzur Hadassah huge construction is taking place for a future ‘obstacle of the seam-line’ (מכשול קו התפרwhatever that means in the language of laundered wording).
There was not one car in the DCO parking lot and the waiting hall was empty. We saw a new sign which proclaimed that now forms may be obtained via the internet www.cogat.idf.il(“cogat” stands for Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories, but the site belongs to the army. A man exited and told us that although his permit is ready he was told to return on Sunday, because there was no officer who had time to sign. A man from Yata said that he had been told by his employer in Hatzeva that his work-permit would be waiting for him at the DCL. This proved to be a mistake. He had worked illegally in the hothouses for three years and now wanted to become an employee in the guest house. The soldier who was initially unwilling to respond checked his name and told him that there were no claims against him, but that he had been spotted in Israel without a permit. He should start the entire procedure again and said he would take a lawyer.
The road between the two tunnels is ‘almost’ ready and causes more claustrophobia than ever. There were no lines at the Bethlehem checkpoint (CP 300) and the construction of the Tourist Terminal (if that is the explanation of the huge earth mounds between the CP and Har Homa) is continuing apace – at 5:30 the tractors were still working.