Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 21.10.07, Morning
Sylvia P., Ofra B., Renana S., Chana A.(reporting) two guests from the LLutheran Church of Sweden
6:50 Bethlehem CP: We met two of the ecumenicals from Sweden and Germany. They had been at the terminal on the other side since 5AM. The gates were opened at 5:12 and after a short time, with about 2000 people waiting at the Bethlehem side, the entrance into the terminal closed. It remained closed, with people frantically pushing, for a long time, at least half an hour. Then people were let through one by one, very slowly. What caused this is unknown. Five windows had been open at the Israeli side, so there it went OK even with a lot of people going through. When we got there, there were only three windows open and few people.
A father with a small infant who is in dialysis treatment in Shaarei Zedek, couldn't get through. His permit had expired yesterday! After a lot of calling and begging for him to get through, the deputy commander of the terminal, D, came and solved the problem; he was allowed to go through and promised to get a new permit in the afternoon.
The terminal police is being privatized: there were two men, marked with signs of בטיחון and dressed in black vests, walking around and bullying people (including us!) Of course, privatization in this very sensitive area can lead to very negative results.
8:10 Etsion DCL: Lots of people ask for our help. Dozens are sitting in the waiting room for the beginning of the magnetic card distribution. We meet some people who are going to receive magnetic cards due to our intervention on their part.