Bethlehem (300), Etzion DCL

Observers: 
Sylvia D., Hannah A., Goni Z., Ronit D. (Reporting), Translation: Naomi Gal
Dec-7-2014
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Morning
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Bethlehem

Sylvia D., Hannah A., Goni Z., Ronit D. (Reporting), Translation: Naomi Gal

Bethlehem checkpoint

06:30 – outside there are many people and cars as usual. Inside 6  windows are  open and there are a few people, but then an order is heard over the loudspeakers: "resume streaming" and the hall fills up. This process is repeated all the time.

A woman and two boys are waiting on the side. Their permit is for 08:00, they won’t let them in now. “ruhi el beit” (go home) say our forces to the woman, but she remains on the outskirts of the hall. Later, around 07:00 they let them pass.

At about 06: 40 A., our acquaintance, passes. He says that for a long time now the situation at the checkpoint has been difficult. On the Palestinian side they raised the fences so less people are climbing on top of the fences, but still the situation is difficult and there is lots of pressure. Women who pass complain that they don’t open a women passage on Sundays, especially when it’s so busy, and they have to squeeze in with the men. Another person complains that the toilets have been closed for a long time now. People wait for hours and cannot go to the bathroom.

Around 07:00 the hall is full to capacity. For some reason, the carousels’ operators on the Palestinian side did not comply to the order on the loudspeakers to stop passing people and now a loud yell on the loudspeakers is heard: "stop streaming !!!". Only when the hall emptied a bit the order to carry on passing people came.

07:15 – the hall begins to empty. 2 Ecumenical volunteers arrive and tell about a group of women-students who had an exam this morning. Since there was no passage for women and they didn’t want to be pushed in line with men they were late to the exam, and some of them burst into tears.

07:25 - Now everything has calmed down and some of the windows are closed. We left.

Hannah, Goni and Sylvia continued to Etzion DCL.