Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 20.8.08, Morning

Derora P., Ora A. (reporting). Jonathan M. (translating)

Bethlehem, Nebi Yunes, Etzion, Wednesday, 20.8.08, amObservers: Derora P., Ora A. (reporting)Driver: Avital P.Translation: Jonathan M.  

06:40 AM, Bethlehem Checkpoint: Many laborers were waiting outside. There are four open checking booths (out of 12).  Two of the booths have hand scanners and are slower than the others. Again we ask, if the hand scan is so important, why don’t they use it in all the booths? And if it is not so important, why waste people’s time?

There are long lines in front of all of the booths, but the waiting time is reasonable. We are told that there are still many people waiting on the Bethlehem side. There condition is better today than from Sunday, when as a result of the pressure people were injured and one of them died. A man approaches us and tells us that another one of the injured people has died.


07:30 AM, Nebi Yunes: There was no roadblock today. A lot of traffic is flowing in both directions. A young man approaches us and tells us that he is married to an Israeli. His wife and family live in Jaffa, and lately he has been denied passage. Another person asks us to help him with some traffic fines he has received.


08:30 AM, Etzion DCL: There are about 100 people waiting. There is no air-conditioning or ventilation, and the hall is hot and stuffy. No numbers have been given to the people waiting. We are told that numbers are being issued inside. When they did open the doors they let in a group of people, but no one has come out yet. And elderly man approaches us and tells us that he had come at 1:30 am and still didn’t manage to get in with the first group. Outside we met a young man who held a six-month old babyinfo-icon in his arms. He told us that he was waiting for the baby’s mother who was held up inside. She had not come out by the time we left.