Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Tue 12.2.08, Morning

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Ruth E., Aviva W., Rama Y. (reporting)


06:30, Bethlehem CP. Five checking posts are active, the lines are long and tense. People report that it is very crowded on the Palestinian side as well. The soldiers work quietly and efficiently, but there is no way they can cope with the crowding. We call the commander’s office and are told that – can it be otherwise? – there’s not enough manpower. There are no less than 12 checking posts in this CP; very rarely did we see six of them functioning.  So why bother and build 12 in the first place? Appearance is the only thing that really counts in this “terminal,” as they like to name it in the army.
By 07:15 the pressure is alleviated.
07:55, Ezyon DCL. Three men are waiting for the DCL to open. They came for magnetic cards. It is rainy, windy and cold. They’ve been there, they say, for about an hour, huddled against the wall for some protection against the weather. There is no shed in the whole area in front of the DCL. At exactly 08:00 the DCL commander comes out and opens the waiting hall. He does a routine checking of the DCL. The three Palestinians still stand outside docile and obedient, not daring to enter the hall, until the commander comes out and signals them to do so.