Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 16.9.09, Morning
6:45 am, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: many, many people outside and the street is lined with transports waiting for riders. The hall is filled with long lines at five check points. People are very unhappy. Not until 20 minutes later, when we meet the Ecumenical representative, Daniel, do we get the whole story. He tells us that the CP opened on time, but after 15 minutes simply closed. During that 15 minutes, only two checking points were open at the exit to Jerusalem. He made 12 calls to the Humanitarian line, but to no avail. Finally, at 6:15 the CP opened again. Therefore, the delay for all those coming to Jerusalem.
There were several obviously old people going to Al Aksa, who tried to pass without a permit at 7:15 am. They were not allowed and simply told to leave. We communicated somehow that they should sit on the floor and wait until 8:00 am, when they may pass without a permit. This group grew slowly, and a similar group of women sat on the floor in their circle. About 7:45 am when their was a lull, they were invited tob pass. We spoke to the policeman in charge, telling him that the people should be told about their freedom to pass at 8:00 o'clock instead of telling them to return home, but he was not interested. When we left, about 7:55 am, there were still many people waiting to pass.
8:15 AM, Etzion DCL: apparently it opened on time. Four people waiting for attention. One man, refused because of Shabak, was told how to ask for help from S.