Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 2.8.09, Morning
7:00 AM, Bethlehem, CP 300: five windows open. Many people have passed, but it will take until 7:40 for the exit hall to empty out. We meet Lamia, who tells us that the special line for women was closed and she had to stand with the men who were harassing her. The complete crossing at about 7:30 instead of 7:00 is not good. This is "the critical half hour" which makes the difference of being at work on time or late.
8:15 AM, Etzion DCL: when we got there, some people were standing outside, ready to go back home. We asked why and were told that today - and for the rest of the week - only Christians can get services at the DCL. Why? Because of a special holiday for St. Elaja (Mar Elias) for which most Christian already have a permit prepared in advance. So, there were very few Christians waiting their turn in the waiting hall, but there were many Muslims who needed a new magnetic card or had to renew their existing one. We finally located the announcement in Arabic (see attachment) and then protested to the head of the DCL. A special note to all Jerusalemites was sent out to keep them in the know (see below).
When Sylvia called one of the Muslims waiting at around 11:30, she was told that indeed they were being dealt with, as the waiting room was empty of all the others. A very strange situation which needs to be complained about.