Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 28.5.08, Morning
Rachel Crossing: A standard day of activity at the crossing. There are hundreds of people who need to get through and there are only five operating booths – two of them also perform a hand scan and are slower than the others. The lines are long and in the middle of it all one of the soldiers manning the booths without being replaced and without notifying anyone when he will return. As soon the soldier leaves there is chaos erupts as people try to move into other lines. There is very little compassion and understanding.
We met with one ecumenical volunteer who reported on a very long line on the other side.
Nebi-Yunes: Two people approach us and ask us about magnetic cards.
Etzion DCL: Many people are waiting for magnetic cards. Someone has come to ask for a permit as a companion for a sick person who needs to visit a hospital. The health center, headed by Dalia, proves to be very efficient and the permit is issued. Another person was summoned by the American Consulate and was told to go home and come back tomorrow. We asked the supervisor at the place to take care of the issue, which he did, and the permit was given. One of the people who was helped by Sylvia was given a magnetic card and left the building happy.
We learned today that if a person asks for a magnetic card and does not have a summons by a work place there is very little for them. The issuing of permits is often handled by third parties that pocket a nice profit, and even then there is no guarantee of work.