Al Nashshash, Beit 'Inun, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nabi Yunis, Mon 22.12.08, Morning
06:50 AM, Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: no pressure, few people. A Swiss volunteer tells us that the problem is usually created by the metal detector checks. Only two stations working, and that’s where the block forms. When they ask for a third station, they’re told that it is broken, or that they don’t have manpower, or similar responses. Three working stations have never been seen.
Two men are not allowed to pass – required to go back for palm printing. One of them explained that he did so at Etzion DCL only yesterday, but nothing helped. He had to return to Etzion and lose another day’s work. When will they finally bring the biometric machines to the crossings and stop giving the men the runaround of come and go to the DCL. Each time the man loses a day’s work, the anger and frustration grow and accumulate.
07:30 AM, Al Nashshash: dealing with papers.
08:00 AM, Etzion DCL: 50 people in line. Numbers are being distributed. At our request, the men waiting for biometric tests are given numbers first. In the hall there are only 29 seats, and the others stand or crouch. They spend a few hours at the DCO, and the time has finally come for them to put the chairs back in the hall. And maybe they give a permit to sell hot drinks and light food. People wait long hours in freezing cold, with no chance for a hot drink – it’s hard and unnecessary.
09:30 AM, Nabi Yunis: papers.
10:00 AM, Beit 'Inun: east of Route 60, at the entrance to the village, huge stones were brought a week ago to close the entire width of the road. The pedestrian paths are only at the side. On one side, you would have to climb over a pile of slippery stones, and on the other an earthen and unstable hillock which with rain turns to mud. Yesterday an elderly woman fell and was taken to hospital with an injured leg.. It is not at all clear how the elderly can cross, if at all. The girls going to school on the other side of Route 60 slip and cover themselves with mud on their way. While we stood there, a young woman crossed with a baby in her arms. The sight was troublesome. This passageway is truly dangerous. They promised, and promised again, that they would move the stones a bit to allow a reasonable walkway. Why do they have to close the road? It looks like harassment for its own sake, or at least thoughtlessness.