Bethlehem (300), Etzion DCL
From 6:00 till 9:00 AM
It was crowded near and around CP 300, the Palestinians who exited all looked angry. When we entered into the compound we realized what the anger was all about as we saw the huge crowds pushing and shoving towards the windows. Immediately one of the gates was opened and a soldier let many men through, only glimpsing at their permits. Some were sent to wait next to us for their papers to be scrutinized, but the process didn’t take long. One man told a security guard that the crossing had been too long and that the sole entry at the other end had been extremely slow. ‘Shut your mouth’, was the reply of the guard who wanted to send him back to the end of the line, whereupon the man told him not to ‘curse’ him. The gate was immediately closed which gave the people behind it a collective punishment. The papers of the man were taken to the commander of the CP and when we tried to interfere, the guard asked us whether we had Israeli Id’s. When we replied in the affirmative, he told us we were a ‘disgrace to the state’! The commander of the CP returned with the man’s papers and he was released. He had apparently also spoken to the guard who then came to apologize and told us that at least 2000 more people than usual had crossed that day, maybe because there had been hold-ups in Qalandia or at the Olive Passage. Meanwhile the commander let all the waiting Palestinians through without even checking their permits. We met with our friend A. who was in a hurry, since his co-workers with whom he shares a taxi to Ein Karem had already gone through. But he too said that passing had been very difficult that morning.
since it was too early to go to the DCL, we made a detour, saw the extension of Har Homa and continued on the Liebermann Road to reach the Etzion Junction from the East. Many cars were parked at the DCL’s parking lot. It was 8:10 AM and 26 men were waiting outside. Then the door was opened by an officer accompanied by a soldier with a drawn rifle. The men entered and registered at the electronic device. Soon afterwards they were called in one after the other. On the wall we saw the ‘confiscation’ notification with a map and explanations in Hebrew of the area near Gva’ot which constitutes almost 4000 dunams.
Two people wanted the number of Sylvia and the others entered. A few new ones came and were also ordered inside by the Arabic speaking soldier who called out their names.