Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nabi Yunis, Mon 30.3.09, Morning

Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Email
Idit S., Chaya A. (reporting)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

07:00 AM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300:  three positions open. After ten minutes another opens. Few people, as usual. In the back of the checkpoint a huge noise of crowded people. The few coming out of the checkpoint are angry and rushed. They say that almost no one is passing. We complained to Edri and he promised to deal with it.

A new position opens and more people come through, though the hubbub at the far end has not faded.

08:00 AM, Etzion DCL:  few people in the “waiting room.” Some sent back from Bethlehem Checkpoint to renew palm prints. Others waiting to get magnetic cards.

08:30 AM, Beit Ummar:  we met Abu Nassim in his small grocery on Route 60. He says that the army continues to come to his home every evening. Time and again they lock up all or part of his family in a room on the third floor. This goes on roughly from 19:00 to 23:00. All the pleading to be left on the ground floor, and the army can use the upper floor to do whatever they want – all useless.

On entering the village, where the taxi rank stands, drivers told us that in recent days the soldiers have harassed them and driven them off with threats. Yesterday they fired gas grenades at the cars. One of them was lying on the ground at our feet. We took it as a sample. They told us that an army representative came to the Head of Beit Ummar Council and informed him that they were going to erect a high fence against stone throwing. The fence would start at the north entrance, next to Abu Nassim, on the west side of Route 60, and would end at the southern edge of the village. So the few houses on the east side of Route 60 and the fields on that side would be separated from the town completely. For school, medical care, commerce, family or anything else they would have to travel to Halhoul and back – a huge detour.

09:00 AM, Nabi Yunis:  we gave advice on police matters.

10:00 AM, Etzion DCL:  the people who were waiting for a policeman are still waiting. We phoned and found out that the policeman would only come at 14:00. The man who we sent in the morning to clarify matters with the policeman at Hebron DCL also phoned to say there was no policeman. We checked that too, and were told he would arrive at 13:00.

The man waited and at 13:30 there still wasn’t a policeman at Hebron. He counted the people waiting: there were 21.

Repeated phone calls to the man waiting, to the policeman himself and to the commander of all DCL policemen finally bore fruit! At 15:00 the policeman’s window opened at Hebron.

Today too (Tuesday), there was no service of police in Etzion or Hebron. It is to be assumed that if we follow up regularly, a reality will be revealed to be similar to follow ups that we did four years ago. Then we saw that half the promised receiving hours do not exist, with no notice about absence or hour of appearance.