Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 14.6.09, Afternoon
15:00 PM, Ezion DCL: some cars are in the parking lot, in the waiting hall there are 3 men. 2 are entered immediately and the youngest is waiting for the GSS interview. He too is called in within a few minutes. People continue to trickle in (about 8 per hour), most for magnetic cards, few for permits. Waiting time behind the turnstiles (so as to go into the office) is next to nil, except for one incidence in which the soldier behind the window was on the phone and a line of 4 people accumulated. They tried to catch his attention but to no avail. We voiced the regular "Chayal!", he answered immediately but gave the excuse that there were to many people inside. Neverthless, within a few minutes he let everybody inside. Most of those seeking something to do with magnetic cards came out within some 15-20 minutes with whatever they needed. For those desiring permits, it took a little longer for some reason.
1. A man who claimed he had been coming to the DCL for a week in search of the policeman, day by day only to be told to come again the following one, finally met the policeman but was informed that the reason for his being "police refused" could be divulged on the phone only at 16:00. We called the policeman but he wouldn't budge. Why only at 4 o'clock? Because he has to check. Seemed a bit strange but we let it go and, indeed, at 16:00 the policeman gave the man the number of his file. No more. Now what should he do? Call our Chaya.
2. A man who works for the church asks to go in to renew his palm print and his work permit. The soldier behind the window won't let him in because there is a problem: work permits for the church are issued for a period of 6 months but in the midst of these 6 months, i.e. in September 2009, his magnetic card will have to be "refreshed". (In case you didn't know, 2 years after the magnetic card was issued and 2 years before it will expire, there is a date of "refreshment" that is specified on the card as well). According to the soldier behind the window, who refuses to let the guy into the office, he cannot acquire a 6 months work permit because of the necessary "refreshment" of the card in between. We try calling N., but he is in a meeting. After some 15 minutes, the soldier at the window is replaced by a female soldier. Our guy goes up towards the turnstiles once more, tells her he is there for a "Magnet" and he is immediately let in. We hope they will find a creative solution for his problem there.
16:30 PM, Derech HaAvot Checkpoint: a Military police soldier girl by the name of Maria (!) takes a glimpse at our tags as we slow down and sends us up to the Palestinian line for our car to be inspected.
16:45 PM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: quite a large number of people hurry in but they come out on the other side within less than a minute.