Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 6.12.09, Morning

Sylvia P., Ofra B., Chana A. (reporting)

7:00 AM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: the exit hall is almost empty, but many workers are still caught in themiddle of the terminal and the hall fills up soon after with highly agitatedworkers who are already late for work. The EAPPI person, Andreas, reports that1600 people have passed by 7:00. He reports that the terminal opened earlierthan usual (4:45)The booths occupied vary from 3-4 as one of the computers keepsfailing and gets started again. By 7:30, EAPPI report that  2100 have crossed, for many the wait has beenone hour and a half or longer. Impossible situation. One person whose permithad just been renewed, was listed a security blacklisted case. Problem may be at theemployer's and we told him to get in touch with him. By 8:00 we leave when theplace is almost empty. 

8:40 AM, Etzion DCL: many cars, many people inside, a great manyof them Christians applying for magnetic cards to obtain an entry permit forChristmas. So far 79 people are on the waiting list, some 25 are inside at thewindows. 

We meet Issa from Deheisha camp. Nineteen years ago (!) hesaved two little Israeli boys, ten years old at the time, who wandered into thecamp by mistake during the first intifada and took them home (wherever thatwas). He carries around a write up with a picture in Hebrew about the eventwith the full name of one of the boys and passport size pictures inset at thetop. Issa was offered a reward by the IDF but refused. Now he has been securityblacklisted since February this year and is miserable. Issa contacted Sylviaduring the week and she tracked down one of the "boys" - now a youngman 29 years old - and asked him to contribute something, a telephone call, aletter, some pressure with the authorities, to help get Issa back on track, butso far to no avail. At the DCL another man pulled out a write-up about the sameevent in a Palestinian newspaper from that time where the last name of thesecond boy appears as well as the place of work of the father (Jerusalem municipality) and the search forhim will begin. Who knows? Maybe something will come of it.