Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 6.2.11, Morning
06:55 am, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: the large number of vehicles which are waiting for their passengers outside heralds bad news, and indeed there is tumult inside. Many hundreds of people are waiting outside, while inside on the Israeli side there are long queues, and only three inspection stations are open. After 10 minutes another one is opened but the main problem is on the Bethlehem side.
Also, it was reported to us that the checkpoint opened only at 05:30 am, and of course there was only one metal detector working, and in addition……. who knows. Even telephone calls to the humanitarian office, to the civil administration and to the checkpoint commander don’t help. In answer to our questions to the security guards, we hear a strange comment: “Stand over there (far away), don’t you know the rules by now ?”. Sylvia answered “what rules? There are not and never have been any rules about us”!
We hear shouts from the other side and understand that the situation there is unbearable.
The situation doesn’t improve until 08:45, by which time almost no workers are waiting. But in the meantime many of them return home because they discover that their transport hasn’t waited for them. Another day’s work wasted. What a pity !
09:00 am, Etzion DCL: the waiting room is half empty, and about 20 people are waiting. Inside there is a similar number, making twenty in all. One of the men, an acquaintance of ours, is holding a list. He is lucky that he didn’t pass through the checkpoint today, and came to the DCL only to renew his magnetic card instead. He was Lucky !