Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Wed 14.1.09, Afternoon

Orit Y., Ruth O. (reporting)

From 2:00 till 5:00 PM, Etzion DCL and CP 300: in the waiting room of the DCL were about a dozen men, most of whom were waiting for an interview with the Security. One of them told us in perfect Hebrew that he had been waiting since 9:00 AM. At 2:30 AM (the same morning) an order for his son had been brought to his house. The son wasn’t home, as he is currently in Ramalla and the worried father had come to find out what this is all about. He had handed in his ID in the morning and was still waiting. He has serious back-pain, which radiates along his leg. He had a doctor’s appointment for today which he had had to cancel in order to be at the DCL.

The girl-soldier at the window talked to the people in the waiting room in Arabic and asked them to enter one by one. Then she asked us whether we spoke Arabic because she wanted to explain to the people in the queue that there was a problem, which causes a further delay, and her Arabic wasn’t good enough. A welcome change!

About an hour later finally our man was called in and returned five minutes later. He reported that all they needed was his telephone number…. That’s why he had to wait almost an entire day! At least we gave him a lift to the Etzion junction from where he could find transportation to Hebron. His gratitude only showed us again how little is needed to give the people a feeling that they are human beings.

At the Rachel Crossing (Bethlehem) everything moved smoothly and more quietly than we had ever experienced. Five windows were open and the security guard of the Ari Company directed the workers politely and efficiently. He even helped a man who had problems with his documents and made sure he crossed without difficulty. The Deputy Commander of the CP (of the Blue Police) came out of his office to make sure all went well. Which indeed it did and we even told him and the security man so.