Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Thu 5.3.09, Afternoon
14.30 – 17.30
Etzion DCL: we drove via Har Homa and Herodion towards Etzion DCL. At the checkpoint near Nuaman signs have been posted directing towards Mazmoria and towards Beersheva and Hebron. The way to Nuaman is closed both by a rising bar as well as by the spikes on the road.When we reached the DCL there was a note on the entrance door stating the names of ten villages whose inhabitants may come to find out whether their avoidance to enter Israel can be uplifted. They were asked to come between 8 and 3. The notice was issued on March 4. Not even one of the people who were in the DCL was aware of this information. We have to note that the people who came for their routine business were serviced immediately at arrival. The policeman was not there and no notice of his absence was put up. We tried to call him by the number posted on the wall, but to no avail. After some time we reached him on his cell phone and were told he will be available on Sunday at 11 AM.
Beit Ummar: we continued to Beit Ummar to the little grocery shop of Abu Nassim who complained bitterly of the army's presence in his house for the last two weeks (except yesterday). The soldiers appeared every evening around 6 and stayed till midnight. They gathered the whole family, including children and grandchildren, in one small room and did not allow any one to leave the room. Only to the toilet were they allowed to go under armed soldier's escort. The little children were terrified by the black painted faces of the soldiers. It was raining outside and the whole house was filled with mud brought in. Abu Nassim asked the officer to leave the family in the first floor and take the second for the army's use, but was refused. We called Abu Nassim the next day to find out how he was and he told us the Army did not return.On the way back we noticed that some works were carried out at the Tunnel CP and the line of cars there was long and slow.The entrance of cars to Rachel's tomb was allowed all day long and closed only between 23.00 and 01.30.
Bethlehem Checkpoint: at the Bethlehem passage there was a long line but it resolved quickly. Two civilian guards examined every now and then the bags the Palestinians were carrying on their way home.