Bethlehem (300), Zeta, Tue 10.1.12, Morning
“…A good day! Great…” a young Palestinian greeted us as he came smiling through the checkpoint.
Bethlehem- Checkpoint 300, 6:15 am:
A few pickup trucks belong to Israeli employers are parked outside the checkpoint. Which is a sign that – either everyone came through and out quickly – or that everything’s so jammed up inside that nobody’s coming out.
The way we were greeted when we entered was: “…A good day! Great…” and the smiles on the faces of people exiting made clear that they came through quickly and smoothly.
Four inspection booths are open, people flow through. We’re told there’s no line at all at the entrance.
One of the laborers is refused entry. The DCL representatives takes the guy’s valid permit, calls the DCL office to check on the computer, and tells him in fluent Arabic that he has to go to Etzion to find out why the police put a hold on him. Drora recognizes the DCL officer and goes over to say hello. He’s known as one who solves problems and is usually located in the rear, on the Palestinian side, at the entrance to the checkpoint, where the problems are concentrated.
While we’re talking to him, a man approaches him saying, “…This is how it should be every day, empty above, 5 minutes and you’re out…” Another man praises the officer: “…You’re the best…” The Messianic era has arrived.
Drora asks about the humanitarian crossing; there had been a problem with the hours it was open, but it was taken care of.
We hear one of the female soldiers screaming over the loudspeaker. The DCL officer promises to have the technicians fix the defective device.
A young female teacher who teaches a special subject in Jewish schools addresses us in English, bringing us back to earth: “…Today was good…” she reports, “…but there are days when the soldiers treat me with contempt, and I tell them I have Jewish pupils and I treat everyone with respect …”
Zeitim Crossing: we left early to reach the Zeitim checkpoint at 7:00, to take a boy to the hospital for dialysis. There were no problems at the Zeitim crossing either.