Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Fri 28.3.08, Morning
9:00- Outside there were 6 transits waiting. One of the drivers noted out that the number of checkpoints keeps increasing- the situation keeps getting worse.
Inside there were two open lanes. The lines were very short, 2 to 7 people. One security guard was wandering about the entrance, after a couple of minutes he went upstairs for a patrol and then came down again.
In comparison to Fridays there were many families wishing to pass. A woman accompanied by her family wanted to pass with her nephew, a boy of 8 years old. They arrived at the checkpoint without a permit. The soldier detained them- eventually he called the commander who told him not to make a big deal out of this. Everyone passed.
Mostly students and tourists needed to enter Bethlehem.
During that morning there were moments in which no one was in line. It was cold inside, but outside the sun was stroking.
A little boy passed with his father, he held two belts in his hand, one was his own and the other his father's.
9:45- There were three vehicles; one of them was the UN's.
At the vehicle checkpoint behind the new building and elder man was waiting. He stepped forward and talked to the soldiers. He asked them for a permit for his sister, so that she could go to the hospital on Sunday. The soldier insisted that he would only know at noon. He wouldn't give him a telephone number so that he could call him and find out. The soldier instead to the number of the man and said he would call. One of the soldiers spoke to him in Arabic. There was an officer and another soldier as well. It was obvious that they didn't understand why he was so concerned and worried. They kept saying that everything would be dealt with, and that he could return in two hours.
We gave him Dalia Bassa's number.
While this was going on a Palestinian truck with a crane arrived. The checkpoint opened and it immediately entered. The line that separates that Palestinian man talking to the soldiers hadn't been trespassed the whole time even when the truck entered.