Bethlehem, Nuaman, Mon 17.3.08, Afternoon

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Yael I., Orit Y., and Ilana D. (reporting)

From 3:00 till 5:30 PM

Nu'man and CP 300

We had started our shift in Sheikh Saa'd which is listed under Abu Dis
and continued via Sur Bakher noting the condition of the road, the
street lights and the garbage collection in this Jerusalem
neighborhood, to reach the bottom of Har Homa and its super-duper
highway to Tekoa and Nokdim. After the CP we immediately turned right
and proceeded undisturbed to Nu'man in search of someone who could
inform us about the situation. A man who was watering his garden (it
was hot and hazy) directed us to the Mukhtar, but we hesitated to
enter the big house uninvited. A woman who spoke English and lives in
Bethlehem had come by car to visit her family in the house where she
was born and directed us to a friend who spoke English and complained
bitterly re the situation. He said that his wife had gone with their
four-year old son to the clinic that morning and on the way back in
the taxi from Bethlehem they had been denied entry into the village by
the soldiers who had pulled the coiled barbed wire over the entrance
road beyond the CP and they had been forced to return. She is still
waiting in Bethlehem he claimed. We told him the road was open now. It
is clear that the village has turned almost totally 'agrarian' for
lack of other income. On the way out we saw a Swedish TV team filming
the surroundings. Their driver from Jabel Mukaber had not taken them
to Sheikh Sa'ad. They had filmed at the hawara CP a year ago. They
interviewed us re the situation of the CP, but we were unable to give
them any specific information re the future of the village other than
pointing out that the location of the village, if annexed, so close to
Har Homa would be considered prime real estate property in the city of
Jerusalem. Some important looking officials were waving papers and
apparently discussing the future of the CP while we exited.

On Hebron Road we met an impromptu CP across Mar Elias, four detaineesinfo-icon
had to sign the infamous forms and were sitting on the sidewalk. We
waited for some time, but it didn't look as if the soldiers were about
to release them soon.

We continued to the CP 300 which was very crowded. A large group of German tourists were trying to squeeze through on their way back into Jerusalem and arrived in small groups. Pointing out to
one another that the soldiers behaved very harshly towards the
Palestinians. The proceedings are extremely degrading indeed. Three
civil security guards were on duty and four windows were open. Only
one hand-machine was operable. One girl soldier was talking over the
telephone during the entire time we spent at the CP meanwhile slowly
checking documents and signaling with the well-known hand-movement.
The wait was never longer than ten minutes. We left when the waiting
area had become almost empty and the two more remote windows had been
closed (as well as the squeaky sliding door in the middle) and saw the
same group of high-rank officials with their papers who had now come
to review the situation (we heard them talking about the 'elements' –
weather, wind, etc.) of this CP