Bethlehem, Sun 25.4.10, Morning
04:45 am, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: we arrived on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint. The market was in full swing and the line (a vast numberof people) stretched as far as the middle of the parking lot. The curls of wire enclosing the space between the iron railings and the roof have long been wrenched open and many jump over them hoping to shorten the waiting line. The crowd accept this jumping of the line quietly -- either out of habit or fear of bullies.
The "humanitarian" passage was very crowded. The turnstile did not open for c. 30 minutes. A very short woman (a midget) was caught inside the turnstile and could move neither forward nor backward -- her cries and our phone calls were of no avail. When the turnstile finally opened, the woman could barely stand on her legs.
06:00 The line was still very long. We called the Humanitarian Centre again, who promised to deal with this but nothing changed. Attempts to reach the checkpoint DCL representatives - failed. Later it turned out that due to the Druze holiday, the representative was on leave at home, and his mate had gone abroad.
06:30 The line still reached as far as the parking lot, but the "humanitarian" passage emptied.
Words fail to describe the filth and squalor. A great many turned to us with pleas and requests to do something to ameliorate the situation, but we are helpless. And to think that people must cross this hell daily...!