Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 31.8.08, Morning
7:00 AM, Bethlehem Checkpoint: the exit hall was half full, only three booths open. Hundreds of people still on the other side of the terminal and on the other side of the wall. Only one metal detector on the other side was operating. It would take until 8:30 till the crowd passed. This is unacceptable, and our frequest desperate phone calls gave that message.
At 8:10 a fourth window was opened, much too late. Our friend Omar suggested each Palestinian laborer give one shekel to pay for another soldier clerk to sit in an additional booth.
We meet Ann Paq, a French photojournalist who lives in Bethlehem. She has a video on the web ("Bethlehem checkpoint, 4AM" on YouTube).
8:40 AM, Etzion DCL: Many people waiting. Each one has a number in his hand and they have been promised that all the numbers given will be dealt with. And indeed, when I called at 15:30, the number 97 had been received. Assumption is that 100 numbers were given out. Of course we met people for whom this was the fourth time being there (to refresh their magnetic card!), but at least today the processing was fast.