Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 3.5.09, Afternoon
15.00 PM, Etzion DCL: it's completely empty. A soldier greets us with "Shalom; what do you need ?" He tells us that there was pressure in the morning but now there are no Palestinians waiting. A man confirms that all those who were here were dealt-with and left.
16.00 PM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: a great many people are entering Jerusalem, and two inspection stations are working. A soldier is almost falling asleep. A security guard explains that the moment that the workers arrive, more stations will be opened. The people entering tell us that there are delays on the other side of the checkpoint. There are many tourists, and the security guard opens the door between the inspection stations for them.
A representative of the Civil Administration explains to us, and to the local people who ask, about the new procedures: a 24-hour permit requires those who request one to pass through a checkpoint equipped with an inspection station, a computer and so-forth. However, those who have a sleep-over permit are not affected by the new regulation. According to her, the new procedure is in order to be able to up-date the records of Palestinians entering and leaving (Israel).
When the mass of workers arrives, and many of them continue onwards to Jerusalem. Everything is done quietly and in an orderly way, and the moment that a soldier raises his voice, the Civil Administration representative asks him to lower it. On-the-whole, the people pass- through as fast as possible. Also the security guards direct the people coming-in and going-out, where to go quietly and politely.