Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 27.2.08, Afternoon

Observers: 
RH (reporting in H), Maya BH (English)
27/02/2008
|
Afternoon


 

15:45 Bethlehem CP. Apparently, the Armenian Patriarch visited
Bethelehem. The iron gate to Bathlehem at the roundabout was open, and
the roundabout area was full of blue police, border police, and even
mounted police. This caused quite a lineup of cars headed towards the CP,
but the line quickly vanished once the patriarch entered and the gate was
closed.

Ezyon DCL, 16:00-16:40. Only about 6 people around. A merchant told us
that his permit, always renewed in the past, was revoked, and he was
called a liar for protesting that he is indeed a merchant. He brought
documents to prove it, and these were under perusal with "the captain" We
encouraged him to contact us if his efforts did not succeed. He claimed
his particular probelm was widespread. Has anyone else heard about new
obstacles for merchants to renew their permits? This is usually done at
the Palestinian DCL, and only problematic cases are sent to Ezyon. And
back again. etc.
A math teacher came to renew his annual magnetic card. Although he was
there before closing time, he was told to "come back tomorrow". We tried,
but failed, to get a sttraight answer from the soldier at the window
whether the place was in fact open or closed. That soldier's bottom line
was that everyone had left so it was closed. But then the officer
arrived, and not only claimed that the DCL was open, but even agreed to
service the teacher then and there. But the man chose not to enter,
saying he would come the next day, out of fear that if he entered at our
intervention, he might be made "to pay" for it. He wanted to take no
chances.

17:00 Bethlehem CP. About 100 people lining up, only 2 windows open.
Each individual passed quickly enough, but the number of open wondows was
not appropriate for the number of waiting people. The guard refused to
ask for more windows, saying there is no manpower. But another guard
arrived, who asked for more openings at his own intiative.