Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 30.12.07, Morning

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Sylvia P., Ofra B. chana A. (reporting)
Bethlehem CP, El Nashash and Etzion DCL

6:55 Bethlehem crossing: Lots of people outside, but this is deceptive because inside there are even more people waiting in the lines. Five booths are open, but one of them at least had computer problems and the crossing here is slow. On the Palestinian side the picture turns out to be as follows: The gate opened this morning at 05:00. Then it closed for half an hour at least at 05:30 and it continued this way, open and close. This is the reason for the terrible crowding we see. The fact that the five booths cannot cope when the flow of people is at its zenith does not bother anyone. Sylvia already wrote about our running in with the head of the private company's guards which was very unpleasant. It is not clear who can alleviate a situation like this. When we called Roni, the commander of the CP, he said he couldn't do anything. Bottom line: many workers were going to be late for work, with hours subtracted from their pay and many probably just went back home since it doesn't pay to be late.

08:10 El Nashash: We took depositions from three petitioners to the High Court.

08:45 Etsion DCL: Many people ask our advice, but not many petitioners. The waiting room was one-fifth full, the weather outside was beautiful and as we stood there enjoying the sun, many people came up to us as if we were an information service. We tried to do the best we could.