Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 13.2.11, Afternoon
Etzion DCL, 15:30: the familiar grim scene greets us in the waiting hall. Some two scores of women and men crowded against the turnstiles. The soldier at the window is seemingly deaf and dumb. However, he does heed our ringing the bell behind the building and even promises that everybody will be tended to till closing time and that within a few minutes he will let ten people in. The Palestinians are as patient as ever but skeptic.
Letting in more people as promised, including urgent cases in need of permits for medical reasons, requires a few more phone calls and another trip to the back, but it finally happens.
Now we are left with over ten people still at the turnstiles, none of them latecomers who we are told "should have come earlier".
At 16:30the soldier at the window announces "Hallas". Coaxing over the intercom behind the building and reminding him of his promise are of no use. Speaking to D, the officer in charge is helpful.
The women in the group are allowed to go in and the rest will have to do with their names appearing on the list we made so that they can come back tomorrow morning instead of waiting (again?) for a full week. We are thanked profusely by the people, especially the ones who have secured their way to their medical appointment, and we feel awful because it must be so humiliating to have to count on us so as to get the service the occupation forces them to need.
Bethlehem CP, 17:15: passage time is less than a minute.