Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Mon 8.11.10, Morning

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Chaya A., Ada G. (reporting)

07:00 am, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300:  three stations open and very few people waiting. Transit today is fast, without holdups, according to people. The policeman in charge says: “There’s no need for you to come here. This is the best organized checkpoint, not only in the Jerusalem Envelope but in the whole West Bank.

08:00 am, Etzion DCL:  around 50 people are waiting, pressure, crowding and much anger. The reception is slow and a few men were already there yesterday and returned today as they were not received the previous day. Most are waiting for magnetic cards, and a few for the police. We have to remind the policeman to call the people in.

09:00 am, Halhul:  at the north entrance, a man asked to meet us, whose nephew aged eight had been run over and killed there two weeks ago. He took us to the exact spot on the road where it happened. Route 60 crosses Halhul village. Most of the houses of the village are to the west of the road, where all the village services are located. To the east there are only 20 houses where perhaps twenty five children live. They have to cross the busy road to school and back. On the way to school a car hit and killed the child. Two children who were with him were also injured. There is no warning about children crossing, no traffic light or marked pedestrian crossing. Every day the children are risking their lives on the way to school and back.

The cars travel fast on the inter urban road, and there is no speed limit. Something needs to be done fast before there are more victims.

10:30 am, Etzion Junction:  among the soldiers checking cars there are some young people dressed in civilian clothes and armed like the soldiers, stopping and checking the vehicles. They look to us like a special unit, very serious about their task.