Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Mon 23.8.10, Afternoon

Shlomit S., Ora A. (reporting). Charles K.(translating)

14:00 pm, Etzion DCL: three people were waiting in the hall when we arrived; most of the others were crowded around the revolving gate that was closed, and a few dozen more waited outside.  An older man turned to us saying he was worried about his mother who entered at 8 AM and hasn't come out yet.  Some of those waiting next to the revolving gate said they'd been waiting since morning, that the gate doesn't open and no-one has been let in. 

We began phoning and weren't able to talk to any of those in charge of the DCL.  We spoke to Or, from the humanitarian office, who tried to help.  After repeated attempts we spoke to Nir to told us that he'll be right "down."  Apparently he arrived, and must have added a second soldier to the single one who'd been working since the morning.  The two soldiers began letting people in.  But when Nir left, the two soldiers decided they'd done enough.  We saw them sitting and having a nice talk with the soldier next to the window.  They didn't let more people in.  A long, crowded line waited at the revolving gate.  We phoned again and complained.  Hamoked - Center for the Defence of the Individual - also tried to help.  At 4 PM, when we left for Bethlehem, dozens of angry, bitter people were still waiting in the hall.

It's been a long time since we've seen the DCL behave so poorly and disgracefully.

16:15 pm, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300:  two booths were open.  There were no lines.  Apparently most of the laborers returned early because of Ramadan.  Only few were crossing when we arrived.  They crossed quickly.