Bethlehem (300), Etzion DCL, Mon 12.3.12, Afternoon
Etzion DCL: the waiting room was empty. Two young men arrived and the soldier on duty , who was on his place, admitted them immediately. Two more arrived and they were also admitted. The soldier on duty stayed in his position, didn’t leave his post , and admitted everyone who asked to enter.
An elderly woman who was sitting outside said that she had been waiting since the morning for her son who had been summoned for a meeting with the GSS (General Security Service), taken inside and still hadn’t come out. A man who according to him had arrived at 06.00, said that he had been waiting since then for his brother who had been admitted for a meeting with the GSS and had not yet come out.
People started to come out of the DCL - most of them having
received what they needed, and they left satisfied. A young man who had come out disappointed and angry approached us. He told us that he was one of a group of people who had had all their personal papers taken from them at the Bethlehem checkpoint and he showed us a document informing him that he was forbidden to enter Israel. People who had received magnetic cards came out one after the other. They emerged slowly, but the flow was uninterrupted.
In recent weeks we have realized that the handling of people entering and exiting the DCL has greatly improved compared with what had previously been the case. We don’t know what has caused this welcome improvement, but hope that it will continue.
There hasn’t been any improvement in the GSS’s abominable behaviour. The people who had been admitted in the early morning for a meeting still hadn’t come out when we left. Did the elderly woman and the man who had been waiting for his brother since the morning, have to continue to wait, tired and worried ?