Bethlehem

Nov-9-2003
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Observers: H.O., A. S,
Guest.

El-Khadr opposite Hussan - some traffic, no soldiers.

El-Arrub, a few yellow cabs running in both directions. Soldiers
ignoring passenger traffic.

Beit Omar blockage seemed clear.

Halhul: Bus drivers complained bitterly that again, despite valid
authorization ( 5 to Ezion and 5 to Allenby?, another version
claimed that 15 buses held permits), only 6 buses were allowed
passage. Five mini buses were spanning the 3 km to Beit Omar and
quite a few yellow cabs were taking their chances. H. effectively
phoned the DCO officerwho listed the license Nos. of the barred
buses and promised to try to add them to the list at the Ezion
barrier.

Halhul-Sa'ir: the newly-paved road, financed by USAID (that's what
the signs say), is completely open and allows through-passage of
Palestinians (Halhul-Sa'ir) crossing the main road!!

El Khadr school area - the scene has changed immensely - the very
pleased school people reported that there was no apparent military
presence since 6 November ("good not to be under siege.")
Just beyond, the “central bus station”' has retaken shape, with a
considerable number of taxis catering to many Bethlehem and
Ramallah-bound passengers and a vendors in a row selling
5-penny-stuff.