Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 19.8.09, Morning
06.45 Rachel's Crossing
Today was a good day : people were smiling and the traffic flowed quickly.
We spoke to Barbara, an Ecumenical volunteer, who came from the other side with the following information : The Humanitarian gate opened at 04.40, and the second one at 05.00. According to their records, 2,290 people passed through by 07.00.
The usual phenomenon recurred of a man with a valid crossing-permit who was refused entry at the last inspection-station. In answer to his question why he was refused, he was directed to another station for finger-print examination on another machine which confirmed he could pass. Out of personal repect it is important that he be told the reason for the initial refusal, and the fact that it was because of a faulty finger-print machine.
07.45 Etzion DCL
The DCL was opened on time, but reception of people started only twenty minutes later. During the next half an hour no-one came out, and the question is what held up the work inside.
More than at normal times, people came to receive a magnetic card in order to go to the Tmple-Mount for Rhamadam, but it was not clear that the CDL had made proper arrangements for this.
The insructions were not in Arabic, and people were pushed in the direction of the revolving door and again returned to the same place and again there was no clear explanation. And this, of course causes irritation amongst the people.