Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 25.5.08, Morning
7:00 AM Bethlehem Checkpoint: The checkpoint is not full and not because everyone has passed safely. The Israeli side is not full because there are more than 1,200 people waiting on the Palestinian side.
The checkpoint opens at 5:00. To checking booths open, but after 5 minutes the outer gate that leads to the checkpoint closes. This is it how it goes on – the gate opens for a few minutes then closes for a few minutes. There is terrible pressure on the Palestinian side. People arrived at four in morning in order to get through early and did not pass until seven.
Both we and the ecumenical volunteers called the humanitarian center.
Five checkpoints were open on the Israeli side and the people were moving quickly and in a reasonable pace. At about quarter after eight one of the soldiers sitting in the booths gets up and leaves. There is a huge line in front of her booth. She did not say anything to anyone. She did not say that she was coming back soon, or that they should move to another line. As if the people there don’t exist, or are not part of her reality. After about 5 minutes in which the soldier does not come back people slowly disperse. Sylvia called the humanitarian center in order to file a complaint.
We leave the checkpoint around 8:30 am. The situation is much better but its too late.
8:45 AM Etzion DCL: CP is bustling with people.
By 10:30 we take care of a number of GSS restricted. Everyone is a different case and yet there is something very similar about all of them