Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 19.7.09, Morning

Ofra B., Chana A. (reporting)

6:50 AM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300:  exit hall empty, most workers have passed, but there is still a large group on the other side. Some people outside report a passage of less than 15 min. but the lines that form after 7:00 are quite long and reports are of a 30 min. crossing. Nothing unusual to report. One of the paid guards seems particularly grim, but does not confront us and there is no interaction between us (unlike the report from last Friday). By 7:30 everyone has passed and we move on.

7:55 AM, Etzion DCL:  a larger than usual group of people crowd outside the waiting hall. Door is opened on time, a list of names is made by one of the Palestinians. Women first, then older men, then according to number. We estimate there are some 80 people today, some to renew their magnetic cards, others to get permits to tour in Israel (the ones with foreign passports?) One of the young men is particularly anxious: he is getting married in Yaffa today at 13:00 and is here for the permit to cross the line. He asks the "sadran" to give him priority and in the meantime is making frantic phone calls. We see him go in before the others and hope he makes it.

A few people turn to us with questions, we try to help and refer one of them to Chaya O..