Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 26.4.09, Morning
7:00 AM, Bethlehem - CP 300: in spite of mounting tension, the situation seems calm today. The terminal is obviously emptying out, workers are crowding the street outside. Up until now, so we get a report from the EAPPI, 2449 people have crossed. The tension is about things to come. In another week, workers will have to return through the terminal in the afternoon, passing their magnetic card through the machine to prove that they have come back within the hour limitations of their permit specification. Up until now, this rule was not strictly adhered to and many workers were allowed to pass through the tunnel barricade in the afternoon. This makes the way home easier and faster (and cheaper) for those living further south than the city of Bethlehem. Now they will have to line up on the way back as well as on their way out. One worker expressed himself saying "this is going to cause an uprising".
A number of people were held back, among them a young, Jordanian trained, doctor from the Mukassad hospital. Both were allowed through after some harassment and a few telephone call on our part.
8:15 AM, Etzion DCL: not many people here today, but quite a few complaints. We get a number of new "clients". The police station is not manned and M, the police officer is not going to come today. His deputy will appear on the scene at 11:00, but will not be able to deal with most of the questions (says M). At least the weather is nice and pleasant, thank heaven for little favors!