Al Nashshash, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 30.7.08, Morning
06:35 AM, Bethlehem Checkpoint: Hundreds of workers waiting outside for transport. Inside four positions are open, lines are short and transit is quick. People coming out say that on the Bethlehem side a lot of people are crowded. People jump over the fence to stand at the front of the line. One of them tells us that he jumped but it still took an hour to pass.
Another told us that he waited by the entrance from 04:00, and nevertheless only arrived at the exit after an hour and a half. They all say that yesterday was worse. We phone the Ecumenicals who, at this hour, are usually on the Bethlehem side, and if there is a problem they approach the Humanitarian Centre, but it appears they have moved to Nablus and will not be back till September.
07:30 AM, Al Nashshash: No one approaches us.
08:30 AM, Nebi Yunes: Soldiers stand close to the junction, stopping cars, checking IDs of passengers and the car. We stand by them. The inspection is done quietly. After a short while they drive off.
08:40 AM, Etzion DCL: As usual recently, the waiting room is full. Our complaints about crowding and slowness did nothing, and our advice on how to give out numbers in an efficient and just way was not accepted. Today they did not distribute numbers. Somebody said “They give numbers to people who enter.” Till now only a few have entered. The pace is very slow. Two blacklisted people approached us, and a man who could not read the writing on a cheque asked us to translate. I read that the cheque (for 1600 shekels) was cancelled. He left angrily.