Bethlehem, Wed 5.1.11, Morning
06:40 am, Bethlehem– Checkpoint 300: all went smoothly though only two checking posts were open. Long lines formed but disappeared quite quickly. The atmosphere was relaxed. Of course, at this hour of the morning at least three posts should function, but Bethlehem CP has its own unique logic.
At 07:00 am the CP was empty both sides. This was the moment to close one checking post. People kept coming in, and of course the single soldier could not cope. Soon the line became long, then extremely long, and soon there was no line at all but a huge crowding. Men, women mothers holding a baby in one arm, a pram and packages in the other, all were crushed against each other. Nothing moved. We noticed the two security men calling for help; we made some calls too. At 07:25 am the situation was out of control. At last the office door opened and the police officer came out. He was talking on the phone; maybe one of our calls did the job. He disappeared in the office. At 07:30, at last, he came out accompanied by the commander who right away opened one checking post and started to check documents. Three more posts opened soon. Within minutes the crowding disappeared.
At 07:40 am the CP was empty once again.
This is how Bethlehem CP functions.