Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nuaman, Mon 25.8.08, Afternoon
1:00 PM-5:00 PM
Mazmoria Checkpoint: On the way from Har Homa to the Mazmoriya CP we noted that the new road is being widened and another two lanes are being constructed. We stopped near the pedestrian passage and were immediately told in no uncertain terms by the commander of the CP Yoav (with drawn rifle and protective vest), whom we remembered from a couple of years ago from CP 300 that we could not stay near the CP. We had intended to be in time for the children to return from school, but saw no sign of them at 1:15 PM. We drove into the village, but were phoned by our guest who awaited us at the CP. We decided to show him the village first, since we still saw no children, but meanwhile the commander almost had two of us arrested for driving on the roundabout in the wrong direction. He demanded the Id’s, but in the end allowed us to leave. There was no sign of any children until almost 2:00 PM and we assume they must have passed before 1:00. We heard from a villager that they are always harassed, their schoolbags turned inside out, etc.
Etzion DCL: The amount of people at the DCL was slightly smaller than last week’s. Some people must have given up trying. The air-condition was working this week. We recognized some whom we had met last week.
Our guest who speaks Arabic fluently was appalled by the stories to which we have become accustomed. Some of those waiting had arrived at 2:00 AM in the morning and had started to prepare an orderly list of names. At some point during the morning an officer had come out and had decided randomly who would be allowed to enter. Until we arrived almost 30 women had gone inside and while we were at the DCL all women who came in were immediately served (and rather fast), but not one man. The men explained to us that if more than forty women without waiting were let in and no men, it causes the men to hate the ladies – and rightly so. We tried in vain to get hold of Tadesse. The girl at the window was acting as if she wanted to help, but could not move things. The soldier also didn’t want to cooperate. The frustration was worse than last week, since there seems to be no improvement whatsoever. Hanna B. could not be reached to ask her for help with the authorities.
On the way we noted again with some satisfaction that some skinny men managed to squeeze through the opening of the closed ‘humanitarian’ gate across Hussan.