Bethlehem

Dec-3-2003
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Bethlehem, El Khader

Observers: M.B.-H., M. B.-guest, I.B.

A relatively normal watch, if there can be such a thing.

At checkpoint 300, there was a line of about 15 vehicles in the
direction of people Bethlehem, and a line of about 15 people coming
from the same direction through the pedestrian walkway. There were
also some who circumvented the checkpoint because of the
tour.

The soldiers (either paratroopers or Nahal) were there with the
border police, and have been there for the past three weeks
although we did not hear about them. (Is it possible that we
haven't been there for such a long time?) They were pleasant
enough, aside from one older one that barked at us all the time
with the regular complaints (we were actually bothering the
Palestinians who wiched to cross, he was going to start up with the
Palestinians so that we would have something to write etc.) About a
month ago, an electronic search mechanism was set up, and the
soldiers are very proud of it. It not only beeps when there is
metal, but it also indicates where on the body the metal is
located. They use it to check only those who are coming into
Israel, because there are not enough soldiers, and they keep
switching. When there is a long line coming from the other
directions, they switch to the other side.

El Khader: There is no sign of soldiers. Traffic of people, buses,
and goods. The transit drivers complain that the soldiers
continually stop them on the "good" road, because they
want to change it into a road for Jews alone and they give them
fines for imagined infringements so that they will travel instead
on the long, windy road to Hebron, the "bad"
road.

All in all, it was an uneventful watch, a pleasant
change.