Al Nashshash, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nabi Yunis, Wed 29.10.08, Morning
06:30 AM, Rachel’s Crossing: as we arrived, workers not long out of the crossing complained that, at the entrance, the crowding was terrible. Hundreds of people waiting and “chaos there”. We entered. No pressure evident inside. Five positions functioning calmly. They were checking permits and, at the first two, also palm prints. The lines were short and transit was fast. One transient approached to say “war there”. We phoned the Humanitarian Centre. They promised to deal with it. We phoned again, but by the time we left nothing had improved.
07:15 AM, Al Nashshash: deserted. No cars, no pedestrians. Only the youngster selling coffee.
07:50 AM, Etzion DCL: in the plaza at the entrance about a hundred men, a cripple on a wheelchair and three women waiting. Promptly at 08:00 an officer and two soldiers came out to them to distribute numbers. The cripple and the women were told that they would enter immediately, without numbers. The first numbers were given to those holding numbers who had not managed to enter yesterday. Afterwards the officer called names from the list prepared by the Palestinians, and gave them numbers in the order on the list. The consideration for yesterday’s number holders and the Palestinian list was a clear easing, perhaps under the influence of our women members. Forty number holders were allowed into the waiting room. The disabled man and the women were led straight inside. Many people were left outside. They were told that maybe more numbers would be distributed at noon. The officer remained outside and talked to people, even acquiescing to a few requests. A man who asked for a permit to accompany his four year old son to Shaarei Zedek Hospital (in Jerusalem), and showed an invitation from the hospital, received no response. He approached us and we tried to help.
08:45 AM, Nabi Yunis: an older man, who introduced himself as owning a nearby garage, asked our help. He said that at Saturday noon, when he arrived with his car at the junction, a police jeep stopped him. A policeman inspected his car, found a bag with 15 keys of cars parked in the garage, and 15 car licenses, and he took the bag. The man asked for it back, but the policeman refused. When he repeated his request, the policeman threw a stone at him, got in his jeep and drove off. The next day, the man came to DCL Hebron to ask for the bag, but they said that they did not have it – he should ask the police to search for the jeep. He asked if we could help him approach the policed. We explained that the police would not respond to our approach unless we have his power of attorney. He willingly gave us a power. Our colleague, H., will go to the police station and try to locate the jeep and the bag.