Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nabi Yunis, Tue 11.11.08, Afternoon
14:25 PM, Etzion DC: there were about 15 people there. Six of them were waiting for the General Security Service (GSS), and their ID’s had already been in the hands of the GSS people for several hours. The rest of the people entered one after the other. A settler and a laborer came with a request that the laborer should be finger-printed. The soldier who handled their request said that this could not be done today and they should come back some other time. The settler explained that “this will greatly harm me”, and – what a miracle – suddenly everything became possible and the matter was dealt with. Because we didn’t see any progress with the people waiting for the GSS, we started to telephone (for help) and this indeed did help because by the time that we left at 16.00 all of them had been interviewed and their ID’s returned to them. One of the people waiting was an engineer who had returned from a working trip abroad. He spoke fluent English and we could converse with him. The same story always repeats itself: the man had become used to this process, referred to it with obvious contempt, and to my sorrow, also with resignation.
Checkpoint 300: many laborers returned from work. All of them were required to show their magnetic cards, their ID’s and their entry-permit. Why is it necessary to present three documents ? Although there was no pressure, this document examination was accompanied by shouting and roughness. A guard from the security company asked for our names but we refused to answer him. We also rebuffed his efforts to find out who we are and what we were doing there, and left to get on with our business. Many tourists came through the checkpoint, none of them even glanced at us, and we wondered if these people understood what they were seeing – we very much doubted this ! After 45 minutes we left.