Bethlehem (300), Etzion DCL, Wed 21.3.12, Morning

Rachel M., Charles K. (translating), Drora P. (reporting)

Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300  (Rachel Crossing):
today was another extremely difficult day.  It’s 06:40; the line of people leaving is very long.  Many employers wait outside for their workers.  Five booths are open at the final inspection station, a very long line at each of them.  Crossing goes slowly; the soldiers at the booths are new and not yet proficient.  Again it’s unclear – why does the crossing operate efficiently some days, and everyone goes through to their work pleased and satisfied, while on other days there’s crowding and congestion, pushing and shouting.  The same commanders are on site; there must be another reason for the difference.

A person in civilian clothes, but with an air of authority, joined the security personnel, working seriously and respectfully. Passports had been taken from two Palestinians who’d crossed through the checkpoint; they waited for an explanation why they were denied entry to Israel.  I approached one of them to see his crossing permit, to try to understand why.  As I took the permit that person in civilian clothes appeared with a security guard, took the permit from me, turned to the Palestinian and brought him to the rooms of the Israeli employees.  After clarifications the man crossed through the checkpoint and went on his way.  The same happened with the second person.  It was all done without speaking, but quietly and efficiently.  And again a question:  - Why doesn’t the soldier call someone to re-examine the reason for refusing entry?

I ask naïve questions and grow annoyed and angry, but it’s pointless.