Etzion DCL, Sun 3.8.08, Afternoon
15:00 Betlehem Checkpoint: Under the DCL’s new system, which was introduced to reduce the pressure and waiting time, each village in the Bethlehem area was allocated a specific day for issuing magnetic cards. Today was the day for four of these villages.
Today when we arrived before 15.00, there were two people waiting for the GSS – they said they had waited since the morning, and that only one person had entered for interrogation. By the time we left they still hadn’t been called-in but we reported this situation to the Humanitarian Office, and also to the assistant of brigadier-general M, the new head of the Humanitarian Administration. He told us several months ago that there were no more arbitrary waiting periods .
There was another couple who was waiting for the soldier to notice their presence and allow them to enter the magnetic-card section, and another two or three from Bethlehem who asked to be allowed in since there were no more people waiting. But the answer was “No” and again “No”, because there are specified days for each village and the authorities are not prepared to allow any disruption to this orderly process. Tomorrow is the day for Bethlehem and they should come back tomorrow.
So we are waiting to hear from the MachsomWatch shifts on Monday and Wednesday to learn how the new system is working.