Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Mon 28.12.09, Afternoon

Shlomit S., Ora A. (reporting)

14:00 PM,  Etzion DCL:  the hall was empty. Outside, one man waiting, summoned by Shabak, but no one talking to him ortaking him inside. The duty officer is not at his place by the window, and allhis attempts to call him did not help. We also called, but no one answered. Wephoned Danny and he, apparently, ordered the man back to his post. He appearedin the window, called the man, took his ID, told him to wait – and vanished.More people arrived, and again there was no one to receive them. An elderlywoman, came to receive an entry permit for Jerusalem for her sick daughter, stood a longwhile by the gate. Again we called Danny who returned the duty officer to hiswindow and himself spoke to the anxious mother. He checked the documents thatshe had brought and dealt with her problem. It’s good that there are peoplelike him.

16:00 PM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300:  hundreds of workers returning from work, crowded in the passage from theroad to the entrance. Entry was blocked by a number of security men and apolice officer. They from time to time let a few in. Inside only three stationswere open and transit was very slow. The tired and excited mass waitedimpatiently. We asked the police officer why they don’t open more stations. Heshouted that we are interfering with him, and ordered us to stand where hewanted us. Shortly thereafter, two more stations were opened, but it was toolittle too late. The crowd was making threatening noises. Somebody decided toopen a gate of one of the stations and scores of men poured in – a frighteningtorrent – and passed through with no check. Shlomit photographed the assault.The police officer, Hagi Cohen, argued that she had filmed him and demandedthat the photo be erased. She refused. He ordered us inside with him. There weshowed him the letter from the Army Spokesman permitting us to photograph. Helooked at it suspiciously and copied it. After checking our IDs and writing areport about our behaviour, and after Shlomit agreed to erase his photo, he letus go home.