Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 27.2.08, Morning

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Rachel M, Drora P, Orah A (reporting) , Yosef, driver


06.45   Bethlehem : Five positions open, and long queues.   The inspection time

    is reasonable, but nevertheless people wait for a long time.   We are told that 1,700 Palestinians entered the checkpoint premises when it opened this morning.   We phone to ask for another inspection station to be opened, but by the time we left this had not been done. 

07.25 El Nashnash :   No-one approaches us for help 

    Nebeh Yunis :   Three people are already waiting for us.   They sign powers-of attorney for us to submit high-court petitions in their name.   A young man shows us a summons for him to appear in court on 5.11.07, which was delivered to him on 12.2.08.   The case was brought to court on 9.12.07.   We saw a similar example of late delivery last week.   Another young person was operated on in Israel and suffered damage.  He doesn’t have a permit to enter Israel and therefore cannot sue the doctor who operated on him.  We refer him to the Doctors for Human Rights organization, 

08.30  Etzion DCL :  The Hall is empty.   There is no soldier by the counter.   The

       policeman is, for a change, in his place and answers the telephone, but when I

       announce myself to him he refuses to speak to me. 

    Above the benches there hangs a sign in Hebrew and Arabic which says

    “ Sometimes you have to wait, and this is because the person before you is receiving all the attention that is due to him.   When your turn arrives we shall be honored to give you the same respect”. 

    This sign is astounding in its hypocrisy to all the many people who have had to wait in this hall for long hours while no-one could be bothered to tell him when he would eventually be attended to, and who were also subjected to the contemptuous and insulting attitudes of the staff. 

    Maybe the person who composed the sign was trying to mimic George Orwell . . .