Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Mon 21.1.08, Morning
08:55 - A long line is present at the vehicle crossing including six buses and several private vehicles. The checking is being handled by two border policemen and a security guard. The tension at the checkpoint is a result of yesterday’s events in which a border policemen was killed and a policewomen was wounded in Jerusalem, and in Kefar Ezyon two Palestinians wounded two yeshiva students and were shot to death.
On the road near the parking lot, policemen are stopping and checking private vehicles.
Inside the checkpoint only one lane is open and operated by two soldiers, a man and a woman. A security guard is patrolling the area. Very few people, probably after yesterday’s events, are crossing through. We heard on the radio that only men with Israeli I.D cards over 40 are allowed to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Palestinians passing through the checkpoint tell us that there are only few people on the other side as well.
9:24 - A second lane is opened. We leave after a little while
10:00 - There are many taxis waiting. A neighboring store that is usually closed on Friday is open today.
We return documents to someone.
The checkpoint towards Beit-Omer is open, and there seems to be no tension. Later we heard that IDF was operating at the time inside the village.
10:15 - Many people are waiting at the junction and there is a constant stream of vehicles. The watch tower is manned.
We return documents to two people here as well.
10:22 - In Etzion the checkpoint is abandoned. A jeep with several crew members is parked in the parking lot near the square.