Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 2.1.08, Afternoon

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Daniella G., Maya BH (reporting)

Even though it is a few days after the murder of the 2 soldiers from Qiryat Arba, there is no military presence to speak of on route 60.   LAst Wednesday at the same time the road was full of military vehicles of various sorts.


Ezyon DCL, 15:30:   A few people waiting for their various papers.  They did not seem to need or want our help.  At the urging of Haya, we inquired about the police window.   There was nobody manning it.  One Palestinian told us that the window is only manned on sundays, but we are not sure he understood us or we him.   A sign in Hebrew and English said there would be no police services tomorrow, 3.1.08, and the window would reopen on Sunday at 11am.  But as we said -- at 3:30pm on 2.1.08 there were no police serives either.  In fact, we soon discovered that there were no magnetic card services either.  "Go away, come tomorrow", said the soldier at the turnstile window to a waiting Palestinian, who meekly left.   "Why are you closed at 3:30?", we asked.  "Because there are no soldiers around".  "Why are there no soldiers around?", we asked.  "I'm not allowed to talk to you", ended the conversation. 

There are many signs, mostly in Arabic, all over the DCL walls.   One says that the opening hours are 9:00-17:00.  Another, which we couldn't read, says:  8:00-16:30, and underneath, 8:30-17:30.   ??? The telephone number prominently displayed in the large poster does not answer.  Not today.  Not last week.   Not ever.


Bethlehem CP:  2 long and orderly lines stretch from the street and into the CP.  A civilian guard, dressed just like a soldier, lets people in 5 at a time.   5 booths are open, and passage is smooth and swift.  We timed passage from arrival to crossing at 10 minutes. A bus was entering Bethlehem from the vehicle CP.   It had "TAGLIT" written on it.  We wondered who the passengers were.