Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 10.2.08, Morning
07:00 – Bethlehem CP: Things are relatively calm compared to the last few weeks. There were long lines in front of each checking booth, but the level of tension is low, both among Palestinians and security people.
One of the soldiers heard the man showing her his documents joking with a friend. She thought that the man was cursing her and so immediately confiscated his documents and he was asked to step aside. Our intervention and calls to the humanitarian hotline did not help. The man had to wait for 40 minutes; his boss left the checkpoint and only his friend remained with him. Only when she closed her booth and transferred all the people to other lines, did the soldier return the man’s documents.
A Palestinian doctor who worked at the Augusta Victoria Hospital arrived and was detained at the checkpoint and his permit was taken. The computer said that he could not get through today. Again we called the humanitarian hotline and the man made a call to Dalia Bessa. Only after she got involved was the furious doctor released. On the other hand, an old woman who had no permits and spoke no language other than Arabic did not let the language barrier get in her way and pleaded with everyone constantly. Amazingly she managed to convince the soldier to let her pass and disappeared quickly before anyone had a chance to change their minds.
Even as an observer there is nothing more exhausting the random manner in which people’s fates are decided.
8:45 – The Etzion DCO is quiet as it has been recently. We take care of a few GSS restricted people who came to meet us and leave at 10:30