Beit Ummar, Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Nabi Yunis, Wed 4.2.09, Morning
6:40 AM, Bethlehem: it was a very cold morning, but it's hadn't begun to rain. Many people were waiting out side beneath the new roof that shed over path leading to the entrance. The lines inside were long. A security man was smoking by the "no smoking" sign.
A young man came to us and complained that there was a problem with the machine that inspects finger prints at the last post. The machine would to often announce that it couldn’t make out the print of the hand placed in it, and then the person would be sent to renew his prints at Ezion DCL. The meaning of this was that the person would have to go to Etzion DCL and miss a day of work. The person that was told he must go to Etzion didn't leave and instead got in line behind another post. The machine in that post notified that his prints were fine and he was permitted to head on to work. We walked to the last post and spoke to the soldier. She said that there was nothing wrong with the machine, that every day a technician examined the machines. She said that some times the sleeve of the person disrupts the picture and that’s why she allows them to have five 'goes' and only once they failed them all she sends them to renew their prints at Etzion DCL.
We once again notice that the women were forced to pass through a crowded line with men. We had several times asked that they open a separate line for women, we shall continue to request this. Perhaps eventually it will make a difference. We were told that there is a new road above the entrance at the Bethlehem side, perhaps they put it due to our requests.
7:45 AM, Etzion DCL: many people (about 140) were waiting at the hall, they were exposed to the wind and cold. The distribution of numbers had begun late. The officer didn't take notice of the Palestinian list. People tried coming near him and persuading him to let them in. He couldn't get them to settle down. From time to time he would stop the distribution of numbers and told them to back off. After he had let those who got the numbers enter, there were 70-80 exasperated people waiting out side.
8:45 AM, Beit Ummar: we met a person who gave us a sum of money to pay his lawyer in Jerusalem.
9:15 AM, Nabi Yunis: two people who were refused passage by the GSS came to us. We referred them to Silviya.