Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Fri 15.2.08, Morning

Efrat and Keler (reporting)

Bethelehem Checkpoint, Etzion DCL, and Wallaje


09.00  The Bethlehem Checkpoint is almost deserted, and only a few people are passing

       through.   An elderly woman tries her luck again and again, and asks for our help.

           She explains to a female soldier that she is old, and only wants to pray and visit

      her sister who is hospitalized.   No justification for her request has any effect.

           “Calm yourself”, the soldier barks at her. 
     “How can you speak to her like that; she could be your grandmother “we tell the soldier.  
    “You are not allowed to interfere with our work” says a higher ranking soldier who has been called out of the office.   “You can stand here and report on what you see, but you are forbidden to interfere” she adds sternly.

10.00  Etzion DCL  :Not a soul to be seen, everything is closed.   We circle the building, and a soldier who spots us asks what we are looking for.    In answer to our question “what will you do if there is a humanitarian problem ?”, he answers that in that case the person will be allowed to enter.   Has anyone come here this morning ?”.  “No . . . “ . 

10.30 Wallaje :We slowly drive in a zigzag between the concrete blocks.   The soldiers make a point of looking aside and not meeting our gaze.