Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 4.5.08, Morning

Cיana A, Sylviya P, Ofra B, Renana S (reporting)


7:00 AM, Bethlehem checkpoint: The CP was over crowded with people. Two metal detectors on the Palestinian side enabled Palestinians to pass to the Israeli side, where five posts were activated. There were no  exceptional events that morning. 
7:15 AM: More people passed rather quickly, but the checkpoint was still full of laborers that were supposed to arrive at work much earlier. 

 A father to a sixteen year old girl came to us and asked that we help him pass his daughter who didn't have an ID, but before any of us said something the girl passed the inspection post and left the checkpoint jumping from joy. Something about that unrestrained happiness seemed so not in tune with the checkpoint (even though she was already outside) that her parents tried hushing her down, while those observing from the side (us) said to themselves: Would she just get out before anyone notices her  provocative happiness and sends her back to the cell. We met a new group of volunteers from the ecumenical church, they had just arrived and were saying their good byes to the old group and heading to the Etzion DCL. 

8:00 - 10:00 AM Etzion DCL:
After it had been quiet for a long time, the DCL filled up with people. It has been two years since the issuing of magnetic cards has moved to the Bethlehem district. These cards are valid for four years and may be renewed after two years. Now everyone is starting to renew their cards.
Slowly the line grew longer but they still kept the order. From eight o'clock and until ten, when we left, only five people went inside to get their cards renewed, and this was after we called the humanitarian center at 9:30 to complain.   A family with nine brothers came to the DCL. One of the brothers has been in jail and ever since all his brothers have been categorized as prevented passage by the GSS, their work permits have been canceled and they lost their income. I filled their documents for them, requesting  to lift the prevention. Apparently I must have seemed so depressed that they had to encourage me:
"don't worry, eventually we will live in peace".

We left the DCL at 10:00 AM.