14.45 The parking lot was surprisingly full, though few people were in the waiting-room. They told us that ‘upstairs’ was full. Gradually, people came out and those who were waiting were admitted. There was a steady trickle – all for magnetic cards. It seems that, as Monday is ‘Bethlehem day,’ some Christians took advantage of the quiet conditions during Ramadan.
One man told us he had been waiting since 10 o’clock for Security, as he had been summoned. Every time he asked, he was told to wait. This is by no means unusual. So often people have to wait until the end of the working day for Security personnel to arrive or become available.
We heard the soldier tell someone that there was no policeman on duty and that he should come back in the morning. This young man told us that the previous day his companion (brother?), together with 6 others had been stopped by police at Nahalin. They took his keys and cellphone – later returning the keys and telling him to go, but keeping his phone. They had come to get back the phone. He had first tried the police station at Etzion, who directed them to the DCO. We gave him Chaya’s phone number so that he could at least check in the morning that there was a police officer on duty. Shortly after they left someone else came to see the police and was admitted right away!!
At 15.30 we left and drove south to a bit beyond Nebi Yunis. There was a quite a lot of traffic in both directions. At Bet Omar there were still traces of the disturbances of Shabbat. At the entrance (next to the gas station) were two armoured cars and a number of soldiers.