Bethlehem, Etzion DCL, Sun 11.1.09, Afternoon

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Daniela G., Yael R., Annette H. (reporting)

15:25 – 15:45 PM, Etzion DCL:  o
nly 9 people were waiting at the DCL and not even one for a magnetic card.
A group of five, all seeking permits, was let in together, while the others were waiting for the Shaback.Among the five who were let in there were:

- One man whose work permit (church work) had been taken away at Bethlehem checkpoint though it was still valid until the end of the month. He has held a permit for the last two or three years without any problems. This man was taken care of as we did not see him coming out again.

- One man of a group of five (three of them were actually there) who have worked for a company in Tel Aviv for the last two years. They were caught by the police in Tel Aviv and their permits were taken away. After a lawyer cleaned their files they are now having problems getting their permits. At Tarqumiya they were told to try Etzion where they were informed that their employer from Tel Aviv had to come and get the permits. They went back to Tarqumiya and were again told to try Etzion.

The three of them came out of the office immediately, having been now sent to Hebron. We told them to call our H. which they did next day and she managed to sort it out. They extremely grateful..

16:10 – 16:25 PM, Bethlehem checkpoint:  w

hen we arrived three stations were open, a fourth one opened a bit later. There were usually not more than five people queuing, and apart from station number one which was slower, people could pass quickly.
For 5 minutes the place was devoid of security guards. Then 2 private security men popped up but did not have anything to do, and started chatting with us. A soldier who joined them made a joke about some anti occupation graffiti outside, and it turns out that he was genuinely unaware of the existence of the occupation! One of the private security men said he was originally from Sudan, and he praised MW for its sacred work.