Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 21.12.08, Afternoon
14:50 PM, Gilo Intersection: opposite Tantur we witnessed 3 Border Policemen (BP), (one of them a young female), on the lookout for Palestinians without entry permits into Jerusalem. We stopped because their sole "catch" at that point was made to stand facing to the wall, hands behind his back. In answer to our query as to this humiliating position, the female BP strangely volunteered that "he wasn't feeling well" and a young BP male rudely told us it was none of our business and that we were interfering with his work. At that moment, a BP jeep stopped by and out came their superior. He was considerably more cooperative and said he would look into our complaint regarding the necessity of the humiliating posture forced upon the young Palestinian.
15:15 PM, Etzion DCL: relatively few cars in the parking lot and less than ten people inside. 2 of them seeking magnetic cards but having no numbers, all the rest had come for an entry permit into Israel on the occasion of the upcoming Christian holidays. Since we perceived that the office was almost empty of petitioners, we easily persuaded someone at the window behind the turnstiles to let the 2 men requesting a magnetic card through. Helping those desiring an entry permit for the holidays proved to be more of a problem. 2 rather older men and one young were refused on security grounds even though they had magnetic cards. 4 others were members of the same family – two men and two women, one of whom showed us that her young children had already received permits, while she was denied. With the help of one of our women, the officer in charge gave orders that all be let into the office where they will be able to hand in their petitions again. It was promised that in the evening their requests would be sorted out and by tomorrow morning they would have their final answers.
16:30 PM, Bethlehem Checkpoint: no lines outside, 3 stations open inside. People rushing in, come out on the other side within less than a minute each.