Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 25.1.09, Morning
06:55 Bethlehem - Checkpoint 300: the crossing was opened a little before 05:00 (info from the Ecumenicals) and the crossing began. When we get there, there are few people in the exit hall, but all seems to be quiet. Our friend, Omar, whom we call, says he has been waiting since 6:20. He finally exits at 7:30. Five windows are open and luckily the soldier who made so much noise last week and insulted whoever came within his ken, is no longer among the controllers. We complained about him and so did one of the security guys at the terminal. His repeated complaints as well as ours may have done the job. The woman soldiers in window 1 and 2 are perfectly fine. People with handprint problems are first referred to the next window for a second try and that helps.
We get information that 2359 workers crossed over by 7:30. Omar says many people prefer to take a taxi to the Ezayyam CP which is more lenient and doesn't have the handprint machine. Our friend A with the semi-security problem is held up again for five to ten minutes and then passes.
8:15 Etzion DCL: we meet Y, whose daughter was murdered by her husband in Ashkelon last Thursday, leaving a 2 and a half year old little girl. The reason: Family honor. Y wants to get to Israel to see about the child. (He doesn't seem to be overly concerned about the case) The baby is in Rahat with the father's parents. As Y is disabled. he gets the VIP treatment by the head of the DCL himself.
40 people only are waiting for magnetic cards today. The going is slow since it is Sunday, only one window is open inside. We leave early.