Bethlehem, Fri 29.1.10, Morning

Efrat B., Claire O. (reporting)

8:10-10:45 AM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: when we first arrived three booths were functioning, after a while only two, despite the fact that the crowd hadn't diminished.


The checking process was very slow and the queue grew. People complained about what had happened the day before: they waited three hours on the Palestinian side. One of the security staff confirmed that there had been a 'balagan' (commotion) due to power failure and the generator of the machsom was too weak to deal with so much equipment.
Two long queues at the tills and the shrill shouting of a woman soldier in poor Arabic on the other side formed the background of the scene. The Humanitarian hotline (HH) promised us to attend to the matter. Twenty minutes go by, the shrill cries have diminished but the queues have not. At our further complaint to the HH they claimed to have already attended the matter. One of the soldiers complained that there wasn't enough staff to open another till.