Al Nashshash, Bethlehem, Wed 17.3.10, Afternoon

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Orit Y., Ruth O. (reporting)

13:30 pm 17:00 pm

Al Nashshash: at the Hussan interchange a traffic light regulates the traffic and enormous signs direct drivers on one side towards Hussan and on the other via Al Nashshash to El Khadr. A great many cabs await the Palestinian workers on their way home from their jobs (what exactly is their work during the ‘freeze’?).

The waiting room at the DCL was empty when we arrived; after a few minutes an ultra-orthodox Jew arrived with his Palestinian worker. There was no soldier at the window and the man didn’t know exactly what to do. We suggested using the primitive method of shouting “Soldier, soldier”. But it didn’t work.A call to the girl at the window had immediate results. The Jewish man told us that the Palestinian (a carpenter) was in fact his business partner who all of a sudden had no longer received his working permit.

The man who is a resident of Beitar Illit also told us that he in fact employs the man to perform good deeds (mitzvoth), such as repair work in the synagogue, etc. We suggested they get in touch with Sylvia.

On our way out we were met by a Palestinian from Hebron who told us that he had not been able to work for the last ten months. He was caught as an illegal in Beer Sheba and taken into detention where he remained for a couple of days until he was released on a 20,000 NIS (!) bail to ensure his appearance in court. According to him he employed a lawyer from Ramlah who keeps postponing his trial. When we asked how we could get in touch with the lawyer we were given a telephone number which turned out to be disconnected.

When we queried the amount of the bail, he told us that he had a receipt at home of the money deposited and promised to fax it to us. But till now no document arrived.

On our way back along Road nr. 60 we noticed the development of a new neighborhood to our left. We entered the Elazar settlement and indeed a large new neighborhood is in the process of being built, heavy equipment is scattered over a large area and the houses are in various stages of erection.

Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: perfect order reigns at CP 300. It was the hour when the workers return home and five windows were operating. A civilian guard guided the people efficiently and silently so that there were no hold-ups and the lines moved smoothly.