Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Mon 14.1.08, Afternoon
El Arub, Nebi Yunes, Etzion DCL, Alon Shvut expansion and Rachel Terminal.
From 11:45 till 3:15 PM
We hurried to El Arub to catch the children on their way home from school and found out that they are on vacation fro three weeks as of Saturday. We talked to some men at the store and after consulting with Haya told the first whose fine had gotten wet and had lapsed seven months ago, that he can now get a 'renewed' one from Maher. The second, a client of Sylvia, after we consulted her, was told that he can try to apply for a magnetic card again if he can produce a prospective employer.
We continued to Nebi Yunes and missed the big red sign which does not allow entry of Israelis on the concrete slab at the entrance to the road and therefore continued in search of it for quite a distance before turning back and finding it smack on the corner. It is new apparently and later we saw an identical one (also mounted on another concrete slab) on top of the road leading to the Nashash entrance to El Khadr. A man told us that his brother, who had studied medicine abroad and had been promised a job at Augusta Victoria, was told by the Security Services that in order to obtain a magnetic card he would have to work for them. He told us that Sylvia got him out of this pickle and stressed again and again that we are doing a fabulous job.
We saw a number of cars and five men waiting at the Etzion DCL. They were all sumoned by the Security Services and had been waiting in the extreme cold since early in the morning – quite desperate they were discouraged to hear that we were unable to interfere on their behalf.
We proceeded to inspect the caravan neighborhood of Alon Shvut and saw that next to it more permanent housing is already being constructed – a good view of the new red-tiled roofs on the caravan site South of Efrata can be had from there. We exited towards Rosh Tzurim; from the entrance we observed the vast spaces of an immense Beitar Illit.
Quite a number of yellow cabs were parked at the Eastern entrance of Hussan and we wondered at the lack of any merchants. The earthmoving has slowed down and we overlooked the vast gaping abyss, which will constitute the road for Palestinians.
At CP 300 we didn't expect any people at 2:30 PM in the afternoon, but on the contrary there was a big crowd both in the direction of Bethlehem and into Jerusalem. Only two windows were open. The civilian security guard greeted us politely and when we asked why no more windows were opened, he claimed he had no say in the matter and that we should ask the girl soldier. Until we found the number of Ronnie, the Commander, she had already requested assistance, but also told us to move back, so that we could not see what she was doing. Two more windows were opened and the queues diminished dramatically. When we turned to leave the security guard told one of the soldiers that 'they are gone, you can close up' which immediately caused more crowding we returned and waited until there was no longer anyone in line. On our way out an American told us not to leave the place, but to stay put until the end of the day.