Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Tue 1.4.08, Morning

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


06:30, Bethlehem CP. Not as bad as all those last weeks, but bad enough. Five checking posts were open, lines were quite short, but the crowding on the Palestinian side was big. At around 07:30, pressure started to build on the Israeli side too. It didn’t change much when we left at 07:50. This means that manual laborers, who start working at 07:30 or even earlier, can’t make it to work in time. And indeed, people complained this morning too that they missed their transportation by the time they got out of the CP.
Once again, it is clear that CP Bethlehem is not built to accommodate the regular passage of several thousands people on their way to work. Palestinians also report that the return home in the afternoon is as bad.
The soldier at booth 9 was talking on the phone non stop during our whole shift, motioning people around, while smiling and laughing at some private jokes, not relating to the people in front of him, as if they were transparent or not existing at all. At least, this can be taken care of.
08:15, Ezyon DCL. Five people were waiting for magnetic cards. They were all summoned in just when we arrived. The only woman in the group was ordered to leave her handbag in the waiting hall, unattended. This was new to us – no bags allowed into the DCL. The soldier sitting inside what looked like a glass bank safe was kind enough to explain through his loud speaker that this was for the “security of the people and the soldiers.” So, with all the milliards that the state of Israel pours into the checkpoints, there’s no budget to install in Ezyon DCL some device for checking bags.