Bethlehem

Nov-12-2003
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El Khader and Machsom Gush
Etzion

Watchers: N.G. and R. P.

We arrived at El Khader "crossing" at peak time before
Ramadan evening. Many buses,many people,lots of taxis.. If the
absurdity of having to change vehicles on the way from Bethlehem to
Hebron area were not so blatant it would seem like a busy ,bustling
place.People smiled at us because without the army,without border
police,the atmosphere is calm and relaxed.

We drove on to the Gush Etzion checkpoint and also there no hold
ups,no detaineesinfo-icon and thin traffic.

We were curious to see the teahouse for soldiers and there we met
the dedicated souls who prepare tea and coffee for the soldiers. We
spoke to some of the soldiers,some of the miluyimniks didn't really
know who we are and Natanya presented them with our leaflet. Got a
supportive "b'hatzlacha from one of them. On the other hand
later a guy in shachpatz walked in and started his tirade on
traitors etc. I asked him quietly what in his mind is the
"verdict" for traitors like us and he stopped for a
second..

Then he proceeded telling us that we are O'K but that the other day
at the checkpoint one of us screamed at him and urged him to
behave. If and I repeat if such an incident happened then it is the
place to say that sometimes it maybe
counterproductive.

Not that it is so easy to show the soldiers that we just monitor
and negotiate when human rights issues are gravely
violated.