Bethlehem (300), Etzion DCL
9:10: a short line of people passing at the checkpoint, these are not the regular workers we are used to seeing in the early morning. Today there are students, women and children on vacation, older men and the occasional tourist. We left after fifteen minutes.
We decided to visit Rachel's Tomb. The place is crowded, mainly women and Jewish tourists. We figured it out because before entering the tomb they clarify which of the men is a Cohen. The Cohen have a separate entrance. Young women are standing and sitting in the hall and do not enter the tomb since they are in the “impure” period of the month. Those who expect to see the tomb that is familiar form paintings will be very disappointed. The whole area is surrounded by the separation wall, around the tomb there is an ugly building that was renovated recently but it didn’t help with the initial unattractiveness.
10:20 we arrived at Etzion DCO. The waiting hall is empty except for two people, one of them 60 years old, both waiting for the GSS. They were summoned to "Captain Ibrahim" and “Captain Ilan" at eight a.m. for an “inquiry". The younger of the two looks and sounds like a veteran "client" of these orders. The older one sat helplessly, quite overwhelmed by the invitation. The eternal question is: "Why, what have I done?" The rumor that we are there must have spread around and five to six people asked for our help. Most of them with police problems: they paid the fines, but the police and the civil administration computers don’t get along, they don’t communicate, and of course the Palestinians are paying the price. One of them told a story of a theft charge that was proved as unjustified (we saw a document) and yet they did not remove the prevention from entering (into Israel). We didn’t tell him what we all know: that the prevention will probably not be removed in the near future. Maybe Haya will be able to wave her magic wand.
When we were sitting in the car on our way home a very excited man approached us. He had been working in Israel for years (he has a merchant's staying permit) he speaks fluent Hebrew and had no problem so far. But today he was pronounced as a GSS prevented. Of course no one explained why, or what is going on. GSS is omnipotent and does not owe an explanation to anyone. Did we say A Dark Organization?! The man is at a loss, upset. He has a family that depends on him for living. Although these events are repeated every day, and we already heard and know it all, we too felt angry and ashamed. The man called us several times on the phone, and of course we gave him the phone number of Silvia.
We left at 11:35. Incidentally, the first number that was called to the window in the empty hall of DCO was 710. This teaches us that the numbers probably are not always relevant.