Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 12.8.09, Morning

I., R. (reporting)

6:30 am, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300:  six checking stations open, a first in my experience. The hall is full and the lines are long, but it is quiet. By 7:30 most of the people have passed through, and at 8:00 there is not one left.  A boy about 15 years old holds up his birth certificate saying his mother is in the hospital, and he wants to visit her.  He moves from line to line trying to pass. When asked where is his father, he says he is also in the hospital. He was told to bring an adult member of his family with him. Another man could not pass because of the hand check, but did pass in another line. Those who came late, said they waited from 15 minutes to one hour only.

8:15 am, Etzion DCL:  at 8:20 the DCL opened.  About 40 to 50 people were waiting.  The people are very orderly and follow instructions of N, the head who speaks to them at the opening.