Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Tue 26.1.10, Afternoon
2:30 PM till 4:40 PM
Weather: cold, dark clouds, no rain
3:10 PM, Etzion DCL: one Palestinian and one Israeli car stood empty at the parking lot. Nobody was sitting in the heated waiting hall. Thesoldier in the room behind the turnstiles was greeting us politely. At 3: 20 PM one Palestinian man with documents in his hands was arriving. The soldier opened the turnstile immediately. The man was disappearing in a part of the DCLbuilding to which we cannot follow and are unable to observe.
On the DCL area they are building something for which purpose they were transporting masses of pipes. A Palestinian driver of one of the trucks with Palestinian numbers was greeting me friendly. At 3:35 PM we left the checkpoint.
3:55 PM, Checkpoint Har Homa: three cars with Israeli plates were waiting to pass the checkpoint before us. One got checked by one soldier while 6 other soldiers were chatting.
4:10 PM, Checkpoint Bethlehem: a kind of rush hour for the Palestinian workers and employees who are returning home after work.
After their arrival with Palestinian busses they usually are running to the entrance of the hall with the counters. First they have to wait outside in two queues, ordered by 2 civil guards and one soldier. Every 5 minutes the staff is letting in about 30 passengers to be checked at 5 open counters. Waiting time at one of them is about 3 minutes. The rush hour was already over at 4:30 PM when we left.